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Brain Res Bull. 1992 May;28(5):667-77.

Postnatal development of gustatory recipient zones within the nucleus of the solitary tract.

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1
Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton 33431.

Abstract

Previous studies have examined pre- and postsynaptic development of the first-order central gustatory relay, located in the rostral nucleus of the solitary tract (NST). This region of the NST is innervated by primary gustatory axons arising from the facial-intermediate nerve. However, a large portion of the gustatory NST is innervated by axons arising from the glossopharyngeal nerve, and although the time course for development of N.VII recipient zones has been defined development of glossopharyngeal afferent terminal fields has not been examined. Moreover, the time course for development of projection neurons located postsynaptic to gustatory afferent axons has not been examined in any portion of the NST. The objectives of the present study were to 1) define the time course for development of N.VII and N.IX terminal fields and 2) examine temporal relationships between development of afferent terminal fields and development of projection neurons located postsynaptic to gustatory afferent axons. To this end, triple fluorescent labeling procedures were used to simultaneously visualize developing axons and projection neurons. Results show that afferent terminal fields develop along the rostrocaudal axis of the NST. Axons of the N.VII terminal field are present in the rostral NST at P1 and develop to approximately P25. Axons and terminal endings of N.IX do not enter the NST until approximately P9-P10, and these terminal fields develop within the intermediate NST until approximately P45. Many NST neurons destined to project axons to the second-order central gustatory relay, located in the caudal parabrachial nucleus (PBN), do not possess axonal connections with the PBN during the first 2-3 weeks of postnatal life. As afferent terminal fields develop, these neurons establish connections with the PBN between the ages of approximately P7 and P45-P60. The delay between afferent terminal field development and development of PBN projection neurons in the N.VII terminal field is approximately 3 weeks. The delay between pre- and postsynaptic development in the N.IX terminal field is approximately 1 week. Potential relationships between pre- and postsynaptic development are discussed, in addition to relationships between anatomical development in the NST and the emergence of taste-guided behaviors.

PMID:
1617454
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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