Thalamic projections from the whisker-sensitive regions of the spinal trigeminal complex in the rat

Pierre Veinante, Mark F. Jacquin, Martin Deschênes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the axonal projections of whisker-sensitive cells of the spinal trigeminal subnuclei (SP5) in rat oral, interpolar, and caudal divisions (SP5o, SP5i, and SP5c, respectively). The labeling of small groups of trigeminothalamic axons with biotinylated dextran amine disclosed the following classes of axons. 1) Few SP5o cells project to the thalamus: They innervate the caudal part of the posterior group (Po) and the region intercalated between the anterior pretectal and the medial geniculate nuclei. These fibers also branch profusely in the tectum. 2) Two types of ascending fibers arise from SP5i: Type 1 fibers are thick and distribute to the Po and to other regions of the midbrain, i.e., the prerubral field, the deep layers of the superior colliculus, the anterior pretectal nucleus, and the ventral part of the zona incerta. Type II fibers are thin; branch sparsely in the tectum; and form small-sized, bushy arbors in the ventral posterior medial nucleus (VPM). Accordingly, a statistical analysis of the distribution of antidromic invasion latencies of 96 SP5i cells to thalamic stimulation disclosed two populations of neurons: fast-conducting cells, which invaded at a mean latency of 1.23 ± 0.62 msec, and slowconducting cells, which invaded at a mean latency of 2.97 ± 0.62 msec. 3) The rostral part of SP5c contains cells with thalamic projections similar to that of type II SP5i neurons, whereas the caudal part did not label thalamic fibers in this study. A comparison of SP5i projections and PR5 projections in the VPM revealed that the former are restricted to ventral-lateral tier of the nucleus, whereas the latter terminate principally in the upper two tiers of the VPM. These results suggest a functional compartmentation of thalamic barreloids that is defined by the topographic distribution of PR5 and type II SP5i afferents. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume420
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2000

Keywords

  • Barreloids
  • Barrels
  • Biotinylated dextran
  • Posterior group nucleus
  • Ventral posterior medial nucleus
  • Vibrissa

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Thalamic projections from the whisker-sensitive regions of the spinal trigeminal complex in the rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this