Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 315–326 | Cite as

Identification of vestibular efferent neurons in the gerbil: histochemical and retrograde labelling

  • A. A. Perachio
  • G. A. Kevetter


The efferent neurons of the gerbil vestibular system were investigated by retrograde tracing techniques and cytochemical staining for acetylcholinesterase (AChE), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and a number of peptides. The location, bilateral distribution, cell area and number of neurons in two identified groups of retrogradely labelled cells were described and quantified. The larger of the two groups was located dorsolateral to the facial nerve genu, ventral and medial to the vestibular nuclei. Unilateral tracer injection in the vestibular end organs labelled cells bilaterally in this and the smaller group, which was located immediately ventral to the genu. No cells were found that individually projected bilaterally to both labyrinths. After injections of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in the utricle or saccule, significantly more cells were located on the contralateral side of the brainstem. The average (±SD) cross sectional area of labelled cell bodies associated with the otolith organs was 259.8 (±75.2) μm2. ChAT immuno-reactive and AChE positive cells were found in an area coextensive with the location of the dorsal efferent group. In double-labelling studies, cell bodies in the same group that had been retrogradely labelled with a utricular injection of HRP, were immunocytochemically stained for calcitonin generelated peptide and met-enkephalin. In contrast, the ventral group of efferents did not have cells that were cytochemically stained for either of the acetylcholine-related enzymes or either peptide. The significance of the existence of peptidergic vestibular efferent neurons is discussed.

Key words

Efferents Labyrinth Immunocytochemistry Peptides 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Perachio
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. A. Kevetter
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and NeurosciencesUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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