Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 167, Issue 3, pp 425–438

Afferent projections of the rat major occipital nerve studied by transganglionic tansport of HRP

  • S. Scheurer
  • J. Gottschall
  • V. Groh
Article

Summary

The central projection fields of cutaneous neurons of the rat's major occipital nerve have been investigated using the method of transganglionic transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP), with tetramethyl-benzidine according to Mesulam (1978) as the chromogen.

Furthermore, the course of the nerve, diameter distribution of myelinated axons, and diameter distribution of HRP-labeled perikarya of spinal ganglion cells belonging to this nerve have been studied.

Following HRP application to the proximal stump of the cut nerve, labeled structures were found ipsilaterally in the cervical spinal cord and in the medulla oblongata. In the spinal cord, reaction product was mainly concentrated in the lateral parts of laminae I–III of the dorsal horn in segments C2 and C3. In C1, primary afferent terminals were more sparsely distributed and restricted to laminae I and II. Reaction product was also seen in the tract of Lissauer in segments C1–C4. In the medulla oblongata HRP labeled structures were observed in the medial cuneate nucleus, in the rostral part of the external cuneate nucleus, and in the nucleus of the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve.

A possible somatotopic arrangement of central terminals of cutaneous neurons within the cervical dorsal horn, as well as differences between the projection fields of muscle and skin afferents within the upper cervical cord and caudal medulla are discussed.

Key words

Major occipital nerve Primary afferent endings Spinal cord Dorsal column nuclei Horseradish peroxidase 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ammann B, Gottschall J, Zenker W (1983) Afferent projections from the rat longus capitis muscle studied by transganglionic transport of HRP. Anat Embryol 166:275–289Google Scholar
  2. Arbuthnott ER, Boyd IA, Kalu KU (1975) Ultrastructure and conduction velocity of small, myelinated peripheral nerve fibers. In: Kornhuber HH (ed) The somatosensory system. Thieme, Stuttgart, pp 168–175Google Scholar
  3. Arvidsson J (1982) Somatotopic organization of vibrissae afferents in the trigeminal sensory nuclei of the rat studies by transganglionic transport of HRP. J Comp Neurol 211:84–92Google Scholar
  4. Bessou P, Perl ER (1969) Response of cutaneous sensory units with unmyelinated fibers to noxious stimuli. J Neurophysiol 32:1025–1043Google Scholar
  5. Boivie J, Grant G, Albe-Fessard D, Levante A (1975) Evidence for a projection to the thalamus from the external cuneate nucleus in the monkey. Neurosc Lett 1:3–7Google Scholar
  6. Brodal A (1975) Neurological Anatomy in relation to clinical medicine. 2nd ed. The Oxford University Press, London, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown AG, Iggo A (1967) A quantitative study of cutaneous receptors and afferent fibres in the cat and rabbit. J Physiol (Lond) 193:707–733Google Scholar
  8. Brushart TM, Mesulam MM (1978) Transperikaryal passage of horseradish peroxidase along peripheral sensory nerves of the rat. Neurosc Abstr 4:31Google Scholar
  9. Burgess PR, Perl ER (1973) Cutaneous mechanoreceptors and nociceptors. In: Iggo A (ed) Handbook of sensory physiology, Vol II, Somatosensory system: Springer, New York, pp 29–38Google Scholar
  10. Burgess PR, Petit D, Warren RM (1968) Receptor types in cat hairy skin supplied by myelinated fibers. J Neurophysiol 31:833–848Google Scholar
  11. Cooke JD, Larson B, Oscarsson O, Sjölund B (1971) Origin and termination of cuneocerebellar tract. Exp Brain Res 13:339–358Google Scholar
  12. Corbin KB, Hinsey JC (1935) Intramedullary course of the dorsal root fibers of each of the first four cervical nerves. J Comp Neurol 63:119–126Google Scholar
  13. De Groat WC, Nadelhaft I, Morgan C, Schauble T (1978) Horseradish peroxidase tracing of visceral efferent and primary afferent pathway in the cat's spinal cord using benzidine-processing. Neurosc Lett 10:103–108Google Scholar
  14. Erlanger J, Gasser HS (1937) Electrical signs of nervous activity. Univ Pennsylvania Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  15. Escolar J (1948) The afferent connections of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cervical nerves in the cat. J Comp Neurol 89:79–92Google Scholar
  16. Fitzgerald M, Lynn B (1977) The sensitization of high threshold mechanoreceptors with myelinated axons by repeated heating. J Physiol (Lond) 265:549–563Google Scholar
  17. Georgopoulos AP (1976) Functional properties of primary afferent units probably related to pain mechanisms in primate glabrous skin. J Neurophysiol 39:71–83Google Scholar
  18. Gottschall J, Neuhuber W, Müntener M, Mysicka A (1980a) The ansa cervicalis and the infrahyoid muscles of the rat. II. Motor and sensory neurons. Anat Embryol 159:59–69Google Scholar
  19. Gottschall J, Zenker W, Neuhuber W, Mysicka A, Müntener M (1980b) The sternomastoid muscle of the rat and its innervation. Muscle fiber composition, perikarya and axons of efferent and afferent neurons. Anat Embryol 160:285–300Google Scholar
  20. Grant G, Arvidsson J, Robertson B, Ygge J (1979) Transganglionic transport of horseradish peroxidase in primary sensory neurons. Neurosc Lett 12:23–28Google Scholar
  21. Gruber H, Zenker W (1973) Acetylcholinesterase: histochemical differentiation between motor and sensory nerve fibres. Brain Res 51:207–214Google Scholar
  22. Hensel H, Iggo A, Witt I (1960) A quantitative study of sensitive cutaneous thermoreceptors with C afferent fibres. J Physiol (Lond) 153:113–126Google Scholar
  23. Hursh JB (1939) Conduction velocity and diameter of nerve fibers. Am J Physiol 127:131–139Google Scholar
  24. Iggo A (1969) Cutaneous thermoreceptors in primates and sub-primates. J Physiol (Lond) 200:403–430Google Scholar
  25. Johnson JL Jr, Welker WI, Pubols BH Jr (1968) Somatotopic organization of raccoon dorsal column nuclei. J Comp Neurol 132:1–44Google Scholar
  26. Kalia M, Mesulam MM (1978) Brain stem and spinal cord projections of vagal sensory and motor fibers in the cat using the tetramethyl benzidine reaction for horseradish peroxidase. Neurosc Abstr 4:34Google Scholar
  27. Karnovsky MJ, Roots L (1964) A ‘direct coloring’ thiocholine method for cholinesterases. J Histochem Cytochem 12:219–221Google Scholar
  28. Kerr FWL (1961) Structural relation of the trigeminal spinal tract to upper cervical roots and the solitary nucleus in the cat. Exp Neurol 4:134–148Google Scholar
  29. Kerr FWL (1970) The organization of primary afferents in the subnucleus caudalis of the trigeminal: a light and electron microscopic study of degeneration. Brain Res 23:147–165Google Scholar
  30. Knibestöl M (1975) Stimulus-response functions of slowly adapting mechanoreceptors in the human glabrous skin area. J Physiol (Lond) 245:63–80Google Scholar
  31. Mesulam MM (1978) Tetramethylbenzidine for horseradish peroxidase neurohistochemistry: a non-carcinogenic blue reaction product with superior sensitivity for visualizing neural afferents and efferents. J Histochem Cytochem 26:106–117Google Scholar
  32. Mesulam MM, Brushart TM (1979) Transganglionic and anterograde transport of horseradish peroxidase across dorsal root ganglia: a tetramethyl benzidine method for tracing central sensory connections of muscles and peripheral nerves. Neurosc 4:1107–1117Google Scholar
  33. Mysicka A, Zenker W (1981) Central projections of muscle afferents from the sternomastoid nerve in the rat. Brain Res 211:257–265Google Scholar
  34. Neuhuber W, Niederle B, Zenker W (1977) Somatopetal transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in the peripheral and central branches of dorsal root ganglion cells. Cell Tissue Res 183:395–402Google Scholar
  35. Olszewski J (1950) On the anatomical and functional organization of the spinal trigeminal nucleus. J Comp Neurol 92:401–413Google Scholar
  36. Oscarsson O (1965) Functional organization of the spino- and cuneocerebellar tracts. Physiol Rev 45:495–522Google Scholar
  37. Perl ER (1968) Myelinated afferent fibres innervating the primate skin and their response to noxious stimuli. J Physiol (Lond) 197:593–615Google Scholar
  38. Ranson SW, Davenport HK, Doles EA (1932) Intramedullary course of the dorsal-root fibers of the first three cervical nerves. J Comp Neurol 54:1–12Google Scholar
  39. Rexed B (1954) A cytoarchitectonic atlas of the spinal cord in the cat. J Comp Neurol 100:297–380Google Scholar
  40. Rosén I (1969) Localization in caudal brain stem and cervical spinal cord of neurones activated from forelimb group I afferents in the cat. Brain Res 16:55–71Google Scholar
  41. Schimert J (1939) Das Verhalten der Hinterwurzel-Kollateralen im Rückenmark. Z Anat Entwickl-gesch 109:665–687Google Scholar
  42. Stillhard G (1981) Musculi longus capitis et splenius der Ratte und innervierende Motoneurone. Acta Neuropathol 53:267–274Google Scholar
  43. Szentágothai J, Kiss T (1949) Projections of dermatomes on the substantia gelatinosa. Arch Nuurol Psychiat 62:734–744Google Scholar
  44. Tapper DN, Brown PB, Moraff H (1973) Functional organization of the cat's dorsal horn: connectivity of myelinated fiber systems of hairy skin. J Neurophysiol 36:817–826Google Scholar
  45. Torvik A (1956) Afferent connections to the sensory trigeminal nuclei, the nucleus of the solitary tract and adjacent structures. An experimental study in the rat. J Comp Neurol 106:51–142Google Scholar
  46. Van Gehuchten A (1901) Recherches sur la terminaison central des nerfs sensibles peripheriques. IV. La racine postérieure des deux nerfs cervicaux. Le Névraxe 2:229Google Scholar
  47. Willis WD, Coggeshall RE (1978) Sensory mechanisms of the spinal cord. Plenum Press, New York and LondonGoogle Scholar
  48. Zenker W, Hohberg E (1973) α-motorische Nervenfasern, Axonquerschnittsfläche vom Stammfaser und Endästen. Z Anat Entwickl-gesch 139:163–172Google Scholar
  49. Zenker W, Mysicka A, Neuhuber W (1980) Dynamics of the transganglionic movement of horseradish peroxidase in primary sensory neurons. Cell Tissue Res 207:479–489Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Scheurer
    • 1
  • J. Gottschall
    • 1
  • V. Groh
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomisches Institut der Universität ZürichZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations