Cholinergic, Gaba-Ergic, and Noradrenergic Input to Cochlear Granule Cells in the Guinea Pig and Monkey

  • Jean K. Moore


In most mammals, the granule cell zone of the cochlear nuclei forms a peripheral capsule surrounding both the dorsal and ventral nuclei. Part of the capsule is a cellular layer composed of granule cells and “star” stellate cells (Moore, 1986). The heaviest accumulation of these small neurons occurs on the lateral free surface of the nuclei, but thinner layers of cells extend between the nuclei and around the medial edge of the cochlear complex (Fig. 1, guinea pig). The granule cell area also includes the dorsal nucleus molecular layer, a lamina formed by axons of granule cells in all parts of the capsular zone (Fig. 1, Mugnaini et al., 1980). Much of the afferent input to the granule cell area appears to arise either from intrinsic cochlear axons or from descending projection systems originating more centrally in the nervous system. Some of these projections have been demonstrated by histological methods for localizing neurotransmitters and transmitter-related enzymes. In particular, a concentration of cholinergic, GABA-ergic, and noradrenergic terminals has been demonstrated in the peripheral granule cell area of mammals such as the cat, rat, chinchilla, and guinea pig. In the case of the cholinergic and GABA-ergic projections systems, the input to the cochlear granule cell zone may arise from side branches of systems of axons projecting to the cochlea.


Granule Cell Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Cochlear Nucleus Granule Cell Layer Vestibular Nerve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, J. C. and Mugnaini, E., 1987, Patterns of glutamate decarboxylase immunostaining in the feline cochlear nuclei complex using silver enhancement and electron microscopy, J. Comp. Neurol., 262:315–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, J. C. and Warr, W. B., 1976, Origins of axons in the cat’s acoustic striae determined by injection of horseradish peroxidase into severed tracts, J. Comp. Neurol., 170:107–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carpenter, M. B., Chang, L., Pereira, A. B., Hirsh, L. B., Bruce, G. and Wu, J.-Y., 1987, Vestibular and cochlear efferent neurons in the monkey identified by immunohistochemica1 methods, Brain Res., 408: 275–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davies, W. E., 1977, GABA-ergic innervation of the mammalian cochlear nucleus, Coll. Inst. Nat. Sante. Rech. Med. 68:155–164.Google Scholar
  5. Fex, J. and Altschuler, R. A., 1984, Glutamic acid decarboxylase immunoreactivity of olivocochlear neurons in the organ of Corti of guinea pig and rat, Hearing Res. 15:123–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fex, J. and Wenthold, R. J., 1978, Choline acetyltransferase, glutamate decarboxylase, and tyrosine hydroxylase in the cochlea and cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig, Brain Res., 172:179–185.Google Scholar
  7. Frostholm, A. and Rotter, A., 1986, Autoradiographic localization of receptors in the cochlear nuclei of the mouse, Brain Res. Bull., 16: 189–203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Godfrey, D. A., Carter, J. C., Berger, S. J., Lowry, O. H. and Matchinsky, F. M., 1977b, Quantitative histochemical mapping of candidate transmitter amino acids in cat cochlear nucleus, J. Histochem. Cytochem., 26:118–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Godfrey, D. A., Carter, J. C., Lowry, O. H. and Matchinsky, F. M. 1978, Distribution of gamma aminobutyric acid, glycine, glutamate, and aspartate in the cochlear nucleus of the rat, J. Histochem. Cytochem., 26:118–126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Godfrey, D. A., Park, J. L., Rahe, J. R., Dunn, J. D. and Ross, C. D., 1983, Effects of lesions of the olivocochlear bundle on levels of cholinergic enzymes in the cochlear nuclei, Hearing Res., 11:133–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Godfrey, D. A., Williams, A. D. and Matchinsky, F. M., 1977a, Quantitative histochemical mapping of enzymes of the cholinergic system in cat cochlear nucleus, J. Histochem. Cytochem., 25:397–416.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kromer, L. F. and Moore, R. Y., 1977, Cochlear nucleus innervation by central norepinephrine neurons in the rat, Brain Res., 118:227–537.Google Scholar
  13. Kromer, L. F. and Moore, R. Y., 1980, Norepinephrine innervation of the cochlear nuclei by locus coeruleus neurons on the rat, Anat. Embryol., 158:227–244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Levitt, P. and Moore, R. Y., 1979, Origin and organization of brain stem catecholamine innervation in the rat, J. Comp. Neurol., 186:505–528.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Levitt, P. and Moore, R. Y., 1980, Organization of brain stem noradrenalin hyperinervation following neonatal 6-hydroxydopamine treatment in rat, Anat. Embryol., 158:133–150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martin, M., 1981, Acetylcholinesterase-positive fibers and cell bodies in the cochlear nuclei of normal and reeler mutant mice, J. Comp. Neurol., 197:153–167.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Moore, J. K., 1980, The primate cochlear nuclei: Loss of lamination as a phylogenetic process, J. Comp. Neurol., 193:609–629.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Moore, J. K., 1986, The cochlear nuclei:Relationship to the auditory nerve, in: “The Cochlea: Neurobiology of Hearing”, R. Altschuler, D. Hoffman and R. Bobbin, eds, Academic Press, New York, 283–301.Google Scholar
  19. Moore, J. K. and Moore, R. Y., 1987, Glutamic acid decarboxylase-like immunoreactivity in the brain stem auditory nuclei of the rat, J. Comp. Neurol., 260:157–174.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Moore, J. K. and Osen, K. K., 1979, The cochlear nuclei in man, Am. J. Anat., 154:393–418.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mugnaini, E., 1985, GABA neurons in the superficial layers of the rat dorsal cochlear nucleus. Light and electron microscopic immunohistochemistry, J. Comp. Neurol., 325:61–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mugnaini, E., Warr, W. B. and Osen, K. K., 1980, Distribution and light microscopic features of granule cells in the cochlear nuclei of the cat, rat and mouse, J. Comp. Neurol., 191:581–606.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Oertel, W. H., Schmechel, E. E., Mugnaini, E., Tappaz, M. L. and Kopin, J., 1981, Immunocytochemical localization of glutamate decarboxylase in rat cerebellum with a new antiserum, Neurosci., 6:2715–2735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Osen, K. K., Mugnaini, E., Dahl, A.-L. and Christiansen, A. H., 1984, Histochemical localization of acetylcholinesterase in the cochlear and superior olivary nuclei: A reappraisal with emphasis on the cochlear granule cell system, Arch ital. Biol., 12:169–212.Google Scholar
  25. Osen, K. K. and Roth, K., 1969, Histochemical localization of choiinesterases in the cochlear nuclei of the cat, with notes on the origin of acetylcholinesterase-positive afferents and the superior olive, Brain Res., 16:165–185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Peyret, D., Gifford, M. and Aran, J.-M., 1986 GABA immunoreactivity in the primary nuclei of the auditory central nervous system. Hearing Res. 23:115–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Roberts, R. and Ribak, C. E., 1987, GABA-ergic neurons and axon terminals in the brain stem auditory nuclei of the gerbil, J. Comp. Neurol., 258:267–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. St. Marie, R. L., Ostapoff, E. M. and Mores, D. K., 1986, Colocalization of tritiated GABA and GABA-like immunoreactivity in superior olivary neurons retrogradely labeled from guinea pig cochlear nucleus, Soc. Neurosci. Abs., 12:1269.Google Scholar
  29. Thompson, G. C., Cortez, A. M. and Lam, S. M.-K., 1985, Localization of GABA immunoreactivity in the auditory brainstem of guinea pigs, Brain Res., 339:119–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Thompson, G. C., Cortez, A. M. and Igarashi, M., 1986, GABA-like immunoreactivity in the squirrel monkey organ of Corti, Brain Res., 372: 72–79.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thompson, G. C. and Thompson, A. M., 1986, Olivocochlear neurons in the squirrel monkey brainstem, J. Comp. Neurol., 254:246–258.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Warr, W. B., 1975, Olivocochlear and vestibular efferent neurons of the feline brain stem. Their location, number and morphology determined by retrograde axonal transport and acetylcholinesterase histochemistry, J. Comp. Neurol., 161:159–182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wenthold, R. J., Zempel, J. M., Parakkal, M. H., Reeks, K. A. and Altschuler, R. A., 1986, Immunocytochemical localization of GABA in the cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig, Brain Res. 380:7–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean K. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Deparment of Anatomical SciencesSUNY at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations