Cell Birth, Formation of Efferent Connections, and Establishment of Tonotopic Order in the Rat Cochlear Nucleus
The development of the cochlear nucleus (CN) involves proliferation of cells, migration of postmitotic neuroblasts to their final destinations, neurite outgrowth, synapse formation, and cell death. Ultimately, these events lead to the establishment of the high degree of topographic organization observed in the adult. The auditory system of rats is immature at birth which makes this species preferable for developmental studies. Physiological hearing in rats begins about two weeks after birth. The outer ear canals do not open before postnatal day 12 (P12), and first auditory brainstem responses can be reliably recorded at P12–P14 (Jewett and Romano,’ 72; Tokimoto et al.,’ 77; Blatchley et al.,’ 87). Since gestation in rats lasts 22 days (i.e. birth usually occurs at embryonic day 22, E22 = PO), there is a period of several weeks until the onset of hearing occurs, during which the above mentioned major developmental events must take place.
KeywordsInferior Colliculus Cochlear Nucleus Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus Ventral Cochlear Nucleus Superior Olivary Complex
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