Wensi Sun

University of Mississippi, Mississippi, United States

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Publications (3)11.21 Total impact

  • Wensi Sun, Paul J. May
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    ABSTRACT: Preganglionic motoneurons supplying the ciliary ganglion control lens accommodation and pupil diameter. In cats, these motoneurons make up the preganglionic Edinger-Westphal population, which lies rostral, dorsal and ventral to the oculomotor nucleus. A recent cat study suggested that caudal motoneurons control the lens and rostral motoneurons control the pupil. This led us to examine the morphology, ultrastructure and pretectal inputs of these populations. Preganglionic motoneurons retrogradely labeled by introducing tracer into the cat ciliary ganglion generally fell into two morphologic categories. Fusiform neurons were located rostrally, in the anteromedian nucleus and between the oculomotor nuclei. Multipolar neurons were found caudally, dorsal and ventral to the oculomotor nucleus. The dendrites of preganglionic motoneurons within the anteromedian nucleus crossed the midline, providing a possible basis for consensual responses. Ultrastructurally, several different classes of synaptic profiles contact preganglionic motoneurons, suggesting their activity may be modified by a variety of inputs. Furthermore, there were differences between the synaptic populations contacting the rostral and caudal populations, supporting the contention that these populations display functional differences. Anterogradely labeled pretectal terminals were observed in close association with labeled preganglionic motoneurons, particularly in the rostral population. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that these terminals, packed with clear, spherical vesicles, made asymmetric synaptic contacts onto motoneurons in the rostral population indicating these cells serve the pupillary light reflex. Thus, the preganglionic motoneurons found in the cat display morphologic, ultrastructural and connectional differences suggesting that this rostral preganglionic population is specialized for pupil control, while more caudal elements control the lens. J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 04/2014; · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • Wensi Sun, Paul J. May
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    ABSTRACT: The central pathways subserving the feline pupillary light reflex were examined by defining retinal input to the olivary pretectal nucleus (OPt), the midbrain projections of this nucleus, and the premotor neurons within it. Unilateral intravitreal wheat germ agglutinin conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) injections revealed differences in the pattern of retinal OPt termination on the two sides. Injections of WGA-HRP into OPt labeled terminals bilaterally in the anteromedian nucleus, and to a lesser extent in the supraoculomotor area, centrally projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus and nucleus of the posterior commissure. Labeled terminals, as well as retrogradely labeled multipolar cells, were present in the contralateral OPt, indicating a commissural pathway. Injections of WGA-HRP into the anteromedian nucleus labeled fusiform premotor neurons within the OPt, as well as multipolar cells in the nucleus of the posterior commissure. Connections between retinal terminals and the pretectal premotor neurons were characterized by combining vitreous chamber and anteromedian nucleus injections of WGA-HRP in the same animal. Fusiform shaped, retrogradely labeled cells fell within the anterogradely labeled retinal terminal field in OPt. Ultrastructural analysis revealed labeled retinal terminals containing clear spherical vesicles. They contacted labeled pretectal premotor neurons via asymmetric synaptic densities. These results provide an anatomical substrate for the pupillary light reflex in the cat. Pretectal premotor neurons receive direct retinal input via synapses suggestive of an excitatory drive, and project directly to nuclei containing preganglionic motoneurons. These projections are concentrated in the anteromedian nucleus, indicating its involvement in the pupillary light reflex. J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 04/2014; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The primate Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EW) contains perioculomotor preganglionic (pIII(PG)) motoneurons that control the lens and pupil. Separate subdivisions have been described in EW and termed visceral columns, with the lateral visceral column (lvc) reportedly receiving pretectal inputs for the pupillary light reflex. However, choline acetyl transferase staining reveals a single paired column of cells dorsal to the oculomotor nucleus, suggesting the EW is not subdivided. We investigated this issue by transneuronal retrograde labelling of pIII(PG) neurons in three monkey species. In all three, pIII(PG) neurons were contained in a single column. We have also examined which part of the macaque pIII(PG) population receives pretectal input. Injections of biocytin into the pretectum anterogradely labelled terminals that lay in close association with pIII(PG) motoneurons retrogradely labelled by ciliary ganglion injections of WGA-HRP. These close associations were concentrated in the ventromedial portion of the middle third of EW, suggesting this pIII(PG) region mediates pupillary control. In other cases, pretectal WGA-HRP injections, in addition to labelling terminals in the EW, produced a circular field of labelled neurons, and terminals in the periaqueductal grey, dorsolateral to EW. This region may represent the previously designated lvc, but it does not contain pIII(PG) motoneurons.
    Progress in brain research 02/2008; 171:97-106. · 4.19 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

9 Citations
11.21 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • University of Mississippi
      Mississippi, United States
  • 2008
    • Northwest Hospital & Medical Center
      Seattle, Washington, United States