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Neurosci Res. 1993 Jun;17(1):9-21.

Termination mode and branching patterns of reticuloreticular and reticulospinal fibers of the nucleus reticularis pontis oralis in the cat: an anterograde PHA-L tracing study.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Asahikawa Medical College, Japan.


By utilizing an anterograde neural tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L), pontomedullary reticuloreticular connections and reticulospinal connections were studied, including their fiber trajectories and distribution of PHA-L labeled terminals in close apposition to target reticular and spinal neurons, and branching patterns of axon collaterals at the levels of the cervical and upper thoracic cord. PHA-L was focally microinjected into the medial pontine reticular formation corresponding to the nucleus reticularis pontis oralis. A great number of PHA-L labeled thin fibers descended bilaterally coursing through the medial part of the pontine and medullary reticular formation with an ipsilateral predominance. Labeled terminal boutons were closely apposed to somata of various sized pontomedullary reticular neurons. Labeled thick fibers descended ipsilaterally coursing through the ventral half of the medial longitudinal fasciculus, and further descended through the ventral funiculus of the spinal cord. At the levels of the cervical and upper thoracic cord, these reticulospinal fibers gave off axon collaterals sending terminal fibers to small- to large-sized neurons in Rexed's laminae VII and VIII. Some of the axon collaterals innervated not only ipsilateral but also contralateral gray matter. By reconstructing branching patterns of axon collaterals, each axon collateral was found to innervate spinal neurons located in a disk-like spinal segment with a width less than 1 mm.

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