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Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Mar;221(2):1125-37. doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0959-6. Epub 2014 Dec 14.

Central connectivity of the chorda tympani afferent terminals in the rat rostral nucleus of the solitary tract.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, 188-1, 2-Ga, Samdeok-Dong, Jung-Gu, Daegu, 700-412, Korea.
2
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, 188-1, 2-Ga, Samdeok-Dong, Jung-Gu, Daegu, 700-412, Korea. ycbae@knu.ac.kr.

Abstract

The rostral nucleus of the solitary tract (rNST) receives gustatory input via chorda tympani (CT) afferents from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and transmits it to higher brain regions. To help understand how the gustatory information is processed at the 1st relay nucleus of the brain stem, we investigated the central connectivity of the CT afferent terminals in the central subdivision of the rat rNST through retrograde labeling with horseradish peroxidase, immunogold staining for GABA, glycine, and glutamate, and quantitative ultrastructural analysis. Most CT afferents were small myelinated fibers (<5 µm(2) in cross-sectional area) and made simple synaptic arrangements with 1-2 postsynaptic dendrites. It suggests that the gustatory signal is relayed to a specific group of neurons with a small degree of synaptic divergence. The volume of the identified synaptic boutons was positively correlated with their mitochondrial volume and active zone area, and also with the number of their postsynaptic dendrites. One-fourth of the boutons received synapses from GABA-immunopositive presynaptic profiles, 27 % of which were also glycine-immunopositive. These results suggest that the gustatory information mediated by CT afferents to the rNST is processed in a simple and specific manner. They also suggest that the minority of CT afferents are presynaptically modulated by GABA- and/or glycine-mediated mechanism.

KEYWORDS:

GABA; Glutamate; Glycine; Gustatory; Synapse; Ultrastructure

PMID:
25503820
DOI:
10.1007/s00429-014-0959-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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