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Brain Res. 1999 Sep 11;841(1-2):93-100.

Distribution of trigeminal fibers in the primary facial gustatory center of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus.

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Department of Chemistry and BioScience, Faculty of Science, Kagoshima University, Japan.


Previous studies in several fishes including catfish, have shown that primary trigeminal nerve (NV) axons terminate not only in the principal and spinal trigeminal nuclei, but in the facial (gustatory) lobes. The present study was undertaken to determine the extent and distribution of trigeminal terminations within the facial lobe (FL) and principal trigeminal nucleus (nVpr) in the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. In order to reveal the distribution of trigeminal fibers, the carbocyanine dye, diI, was applied to the central cut stump of the trigeminal root in isolated, paraformaldehyde-fixed brains. After a diffusion period of 10-90 days, the brains were serially sectioned on a vibratome and examined with epifluorescence. The trigeminal motor nucleus (nVm) and principal sensory nucleus lie near the level of entrance of NV. The majority of primary trigeminal fibers, however, sweep caudally after entering into the brain to form the descending root. At the level of the caudal third of the FL, collaterals emitted by the descending root fibers turn medially and dorsally to terminate in the FL. The trigeminal fibers are coarser than the facial nerve (NVII) fibers which terminate within the same structure. The trigeminal fibers terminate throughout the FL except for the lateral-most lobule which contains the representation of taste buds innervated by the recurrent branch of NVII, i.e., those over the trunk and tail of the animal. These results show that in catfish, the trigeminal input to the primary gustatory complex is restricted to those portions of the nucleus receiving chemosensory inputs from the face and barbels, i.e., the trigeminally innervated sensory fields.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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