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Brain Res. 1987 Nov 17;426(1):131-41.

Superior colliculus efferents to five subcortical visual system structures in the ground squirrel.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan 00901.


We compared the laminar location and morphology of superior colliculus cells projecting to the dorsal and ventral lateral geniculate nuclei (LGd, LGv), the pretectum (PT), the parabigeminal nucleus (Pb), and nucleus lateralis posterior (LP) in the ground squirrel Spermophilus tridecemlineatus. Horseradish peroxidase was iontophoretically injected into LGd, LGv, PT, Pb and each of the 3 subdivisions of the LP. After survival periods of 24-72 h the animals were perfused intracardially and brain sections processed histochemically. A Zeiss ZIDAS image analysis system was used to determine the soma size of labeled neurons and to prepare histograms showing the relation between cell size and frequency. After injections in the LGd, LGv, Pb and PT, labeled neurons were present throughout the stratum griseum superficiale and the upper portion of the stratum opticum. They were mainly fusiform neurons whose long axes ranged from 12 to 44 microns. There were also some multipolar cells 9-22 microns in diameter with the highest frequencies found in the 12-14 and 16-17 microns ranges. Differences were found in the exact location and/or soma size of the neurons projecting to the 4 nuclei. After injections in rostrolateral and caudal LP the labeled cells were always large multipolar neurons specifically located in the lower half of the stratum griseum superficiale. Their somata measured 9-22 microns in diameter but the highest frequencies were found in the 16-17 and 19-20 microns ranges. Our findings suggest that there are different populations of superior colliculus cells projecting to different visual system structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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