The organization of the seventh lumbar spinal ganglion of the cat

Harold Burton, John J. McFarlane

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The organization of the seventh lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of the cat has been investigated both anatomically and electrophysiologically. In the first two series of experiments an attempt was made to relate the topographic location of identified groups of cells in the ganglion with the rostro‐caudal position of their central processes in the filaments of the dorsal root. 3H‐proline was injected into various sectors of the ganglion and the distribution of the axonically transported proteins, in individual dorsal rootlets, was determined by means of liquid scintillation spectroscopy and the location of the injections was determined by autoradiography of the sectioned ganglia. The projection pattern was also determined by antidromically activating DRG cells in various parts of the ganglion by sequentially stimulating each of six dorsal root filaments. The results of both groups of experiments indicate that cells located in the medial (caudal) parts of the ganglion project into the most caudal rootlets of the dorsal root; cells in the most lateral (rostral) parts of the ganglion project into the most rostral rootlets, while cells in the intermediate parts of the ganglion project into the middle rootlets. In a third series of experiments, a shifting pattern of overlapping receptive fields was demonstrated for a series of recordings that traversed the ganglion from medial to lateral. This pattern was shown to be nearly equivalent to the organization of receptive fields previously demonstrated by Kuhn ('53) for a rostral to caudal sequence of dorsal rootlets, i.e., foot and leg preaxial fields predominated in the lateral sectors, while postaxial fields were found in the medial sectors of the ganglion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-231
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 1973


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