Anuran dorsal column nucleus: organization, immunohistochemical characterization, and fiber connections in Rana perezi and Xenopus laevis.
ABSTRACT As part of a research program on the evolution of somatosensory systems in vertebrates, the dorsal column nucleus (DCN) was studied with (immuno)histochemical and tract-tracing techniques in anurans (the large green frog, Rana perezi, and the clawed toad, Xenopus laevis). The anuran DCN contains some nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase-positive neurons, very little calbindin D-28k, and a distinct parvalbumin-positive cell population. The anuran DCN is innervated by primary and non-primary spinal afferents, by primary afferents from cranial nerves V, VII, IX, and X, by serotonin-immunoreactive fibers, and by peptidergic fibers. Non-primary DCN afferents from the spinal cord appear to arise throughout the spinal cord, but particularly from the ipsilateral dorsal gray. The present study focused on the efferent connections of the DCN, in particular the targets of the medial lemniscus. The medial lemniscus could be traced throughout the brainstem and into the diencephalon. Along its course, the medial lemniscus gives off collaterals to various parts of the reticular formation, to the octavolateral area, and to the granular layer of the cerebellum. At mesencephalic levels, the medial lemniscus innervates the lateral part of the torus semicircularis as well as various tegmental nuclei. A striking difference between the two species studied is that while in R. perezi medial lemniscal fibers do not reach the tectum mesencephali, in X. laevis, intermediate and deep tectal layers are innervated. Beyond the midbrain, both dorsal and ventral thalamic areas are innervated by the medial lemniscus. The present study shows that the anuran "lemniscal pathway" is basically similar to that of amniotes.
Article: The frog dorsal column nucleus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A morphological description is given of a small, but well defined, collection of neurons in the frog medulla located at the rostral end of the dorsal column. Anatomical and electrophysiological data reveal that collaterals of primary afferent fibers terminate in this area which can be defined as a primordial dorsal column nucleus (DCN). Thus, ascending dorsal column axons come into close apposition with neurons in the DCN and afferent volleys from cutaneous and mixed nerves evoke a large negative (N-) wave on the surface of the medulla corresponding to the anatomically defined DCN. The N-wave reached its greatest amplitude within the depth of the nucleus.The existence of primary afferent depolarization (PAD) in the frog DCN was demonstrated by means of a surface positive (P-) wave and more directly by increased excitability of dorsal column terminals. Depression of DCN synaptic activity as manifested by the ability of an afferent volley to reduce the effectiveness of a succeeding volley to produce thalamic potentials was correlated with PAD. It is concluded that synaptic mechanisms exist in the frog DCN which are similar to those present in the mammalian dorsal column nuclei.Brain Research 07/1974; 73(3):421-37. · 2.88 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The dorsal column (DC) system was investigated in the pigeon by electrophysiological and anatomical methods. Field potentials recorded from the dorsal column nuclei (DCN) and evoked by electrical stimulation of cutaneous nerves showed two peaks in the case of wing nerve stimulation and one peak with leg nerve stimulation. Lesions of the DC or the ipsilateral dorsolateral funiculus (DLF) at a high cervical level (C4) indicate that a main input exists from the wing through the DC and from the leg through the DLF. With small injections of the fluorescent dye Fast blue into parts of the DCN it could be shown that aside from a primary afferent projection a well-developed postsynaptic dorsal column system exists only for the wing and that it takes its origin in the neurons of the lamina IV of the spinal dorsal horn.Neuroscience Letters 10/1988; 91(3):295-300. · 2.03 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The dorsal column and its nuclei exhibit a considerable number of fibers containing neuropeptides, such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P (SP), whose origins and functional roles are as yet unknown. The present study attempts to determine the origin and nature of these fibers by means of immunohistochemistry combined with several experimental manipulations. A similar study was done on scattered substance P (SP) fibers whose presence was confirmed in this study. Transection of the upper cervical cord of rats resulted in an accumulation of CGRP, sometimes with SP also, in the caudal aspect of the lesion, thus indicating the presence of peptide-containing ascending fibers. Hemitransection of the dorsal column at the level of C2-3 caused reduction of CGRP-containing fibers in the dorsal column and its nuclei on the operated side. Electron microscopic observation of the nucleus gracilis revealed that CGRP-like immunoreactive terminals made direct axodendritic synaptic contacts. Medium- to large-sized neurons in the dorsal root ganglia were labeled with Fast blue dye which was injected into the dorsal column nuclei. These included medium- to large-sized neurons exhibiting immunoreactivity to CGRP-like substances, and neurons of a medium size which were immunoreactive to SP-like compounds. The incidence of the former was higher at the thoracic level than at the cervical and lumbar levels, while that of the latter was very low. Electron microscopic observation of CGRP-containing fibers in the cervical region of the dorsal column revealed that 88% of these fibers were unmyelinated and the remainder were thinly myelinated.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)Brain Research 09/1989; 495(1):122-30. · 2.88 Impact Factor