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ABSTRACT: To investigate the efferent pathway from the dorsal raphe nucleus to the inner ear. Eleven adult cats weighing 2.0 - 3.0 kg were used. The animals had no middle-ear disease and their auricle reflex was sensitive to sound. They were divided into experimental group (8 cats) and control group (3 cases). The fluorescent tracer cholera toxin subunit-B (CTB) was injected into cat cochlea and the CTB-labelled neurons of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) were identified using an immunofluorescence technique after a survival period of 7 days. For studying other fluorescence labelling, the sections containing CTB-labelled neurons were divided into four groups and incubated in antisera directed against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), serotonin (5-HT), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine B-hydroxylase (DBH), respectively. Single-and double-labelled neurons were identified from the DRN. (1) A subpopulation of dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) neurons were intensely labelled with CTB and these CTB-labelled neurons were densely distributed in a dorsomedial part of the DRN; (2) Four immunolabelling, TH, 5-HT, GABA and DBH were presented throughout the DRN. Of the total population of CTB-labelled neurons, 100% were TH-labelled neurons (double labelling) and no double-stained neuron with 5-HT, GABA and DBH was observed in the DRN. There was a projection from DRN to the inner ear and this pathway might be a dopaminergic projection.Zhonghua er bi yan hou tou jing wai ke za zhi = Chinese journal of otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery 12/2006; 41(11):857-60.
The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South UniversityCh’ang-sha-shih, Hunan, China