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Brain Res. 1994 May 23;646(2):223-9.

The trajectory of the sympathetic nerve fibers to the rat cochlea as revealed by anterograde and retrograde WGA-HRP tracing.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Fukui Medical School, Japan.


Wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase conjugate was injected in the unilateral superior cervical ganglion (SCG), and the projection pathways of postganglionic sympathetic nerve fibers innervating the cochlea were traced in the rat. The labeled axons advanced along the internal carotid artery (ICA), and a few advanced caudally in the major petrosal nerve (MPN) and entered the facial nerve, while the majority ran rostral to the pterygopalatine ganglion at the point where they crossed the MPN in the carotid canal. The rest of the labeled fibers remained on the surface of the ICA and advanced to the cranial cavity. Most of the labeled fibers along the facial nerve joined the cochlear nerve and finally reached the osseous spiral lamina through the spiral ganglion. Some of the labeled fibers ran along the anterior inferior cerebellar artery from the basilar artery which was previously thought to have been the only pathway. We could not find any labeled fiber on the modiolar artery from anterior inferior cerebellar artery in the cochlea. These observations are consistent with our hypothesis that the sympathetic fibers innervating the neural tissues or related structures follow nerve fibers and meninges as matrices of projection pathways rather than arteries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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