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Acta Anat (Basel). 1997;158(2):121-9.

Organization of forelimb motoneuron pools in two bat species (Eptesicus fuscus and Myotis lucifugus).

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Biology Department, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y. 14456, USA.


The present investigation provides further evidence of the conservation of motor nuclei in amniotes. The position of six forelimb and shoulder motor pools were mapped in two species of bat, Eptesicus fuscus and Myotis lucifugus. The intraspinal locations of motor pools were revealed by labeling with the retrograde neuronal tracer WGA-HRP injected into the bellies of six muscles: m. pectoralis, m. spinodeltoideus, mm. triceps brachii (long and lateral heads), m. infraspinatus, m. supraspinatus, and m. biceps brachii. The positions of the labeled motor pools were reconstructed from serial transverse and horizontal sections of the spinal cord. WGA-HRP-labeled cells were located midway between cervical spinal nerves four and five to midway between cervical spinal nerve eight and the first thoracic spinal nerve. Individual motor pools formed fusiform clusters of cells with little intermingling of neurons between adjacent motor pools. The pectoralis motor pool contained significantly more motoneurons than all other motor pools for M. lucifugus. The pectoralis pool in E. fuscus contained more motoneurons than the biceps, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus, but not the spinodeltoid or the triceps brachii. The biceps, spinodeltoid, infraspinatus and supraspinatus pools were located rostrally; the pectoralis and triceps pools caudally. The pectoralis pool was the most medial and the spinodeltoid pool was the most lateral. These data suggest that the locations of shoulder and forelimb motor pools are ontogenetically and phylogenetically conserved across tetrapods and independent of the function of the muscles in adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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