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J Comp Neurol. 1995 Mar 13;353(3):317-40.

Development of ventral cochlear nucleus projections to the superior olivary complex in gerbil.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California at Irvine 92717, USA.

Abstract

The postnatal development of the projection from the ventral cochlear nucleus to the principal nuclei in the superior olivary complex in gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) was studied in an age-graded series of pups ranging from 0 to 18 days old. Small crystals of 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) were inserted into the ventral cochlear nucleus of aldehyde-fixed brains, and the labeled projections were examined with epifluorescence microscopy. Selected sections were photooxidized in a solution of diaminobenzidine and subsequently processed for electron microscopy to examine the development of labeled synapses in the target nuclei. Horseradish peroxidase was injected into the ventral cochlear nucleus of adult gerbils to assess the form and persistence of projections observed in the neonatal animals. In addition, electrophysiological responses to acoustic stimuli of single units in the adult auditory brainstem were analyzed to confirm the functionality of the novel projection from the ventral cochlear nucleus to the contralateral lateral superior olive. By the day of birth (P0), developing axons from the ventral cochlear nucleus have already established highly ordered pathways to the three primary nuclei of the superior olivary complex: the ipsilateral lateral superior olive, the contralateral medial nucleus of the trapezoid body, and at the lateral and medial dendrites of the ipsilateral and contralateral medial superior olive, respectively. Developing axons from the ventral cochlear nucleus that innervated the contralateral medial nucleus of the trapezoid body lacked the terminal morphology characteristic of the calyx of Held, but began to adopt a more characteristic form on P5. The mature calyx appeared around P14-16. Exuberant developmental projections to topographically inappropriate areas of the superior olivary complex were not observed at the postnatal ages studied. In addition to the projections of the ventral cochlear nucleus to the superior olivary complex described in other species, we observed the development and maintenance of a major direct projection from the ventral cochlear nucleus to the contralateral lateral superior olive. On P0, ventral cochlear nucleus axons decussate in the dorsal trapezoid body, form a plexus at the dorsal edge of the contralateral medial superior olive, and enter the ventrolateral limb of the contralateral lateral superior olive. Over the next 2 weeks, fascicles of fibers form on the hilar and ventral aspects of the ventrolateral limb. Fibers arising from these fascicles form converging, but nonoverlapping, arborizations within the ventrolateral limb at right angles to the curvature of the nucleus. The medial region was devoid of labeled axons.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

PMID:
7751434
DOI:
10.1002/cne.903530302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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