Descending supraspinal pathways in amphibians. I. A dextran amine tracing study of their cells of origin.
SourceJournal of Comparative Neurology, 434, 2, (2001), pp. 186--208
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Comparative Neurology
SubjectPathophysiology of Brain and Behaviour; Pathofysiologie van Hersenen en Gedrag
The present study is the first of a series on descending supraspinal pathways in amphibians in which hodologic and developmental aspects are studied. Representative species of anurans (the green frog, Rana perezi, and the clawed toad, Xenopus laevis), urodeles (the Iberian ribbed newt, Pleurodeles waltl), and gymnophionans (the Mexican caecilian, Dermophis mexicanus) have been used. By means of retrograde tracing with dextran amines, previous data in anurans were largely confirmed and extended, but the studies in P. waltl and D. mexicanus present the first detailed data on descending pathways to the spinal cord in urodeles and gymnophionans. In all three orders, extensive brainstem-spinal pathways were present with only minor representation of spinal projections originating in forebrain regions. In the rhombencephalon, spinal projections arise from the reticular formation, several parts of the octavolateral area, the locus coeruleus, the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, the raphe nucleus, sensory nuclei (trigeminal sensory nuclei and the dorsal column nucleus), and the nucleus of the solitary tract. In all species studied, the cerebellar nucleus and scattered cerebellar cells innervate the spinal cord, predominantly contralaterally. Mesencephalic projections include modest tectospinal projections, torospinal projections, and extensive tegmentospinal projections. The tegmentospinal projections include projections from the nucleus of Edinger-Westphal, the red nucleus, and from anterodorsal, anteroventral, and posteroventral tegmental nuclei. In the forebrain, diencephalospinal projections originate in the ventral thalamus, posterior tubercle, the pretectal region, and the interstitial nucleus of the fasciculus longitudinalis medialis. The most rostrally located cells of origin of descending spinal pathways were found in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the preoptic area and a subpallial region in the caudal telencephalic hemisphere, probably belonging to the amygdaloid complex. Our data are discussed in an evolutionary perspective.
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