Oct 8, 1989

Axonal trajectories and terminations of on- and off-cells in the cat lower brainstem

The Journal of Comparative Neurology
P Mason, H L Fields


Two physiologically defined classes of pontomedullary raphe neurons were intracellularly labeled in order to determine the target nuclei of their axonal projections. In the lightly anesthetized cat, cells either increased (on-cells) or decreased (off-cells) their discharge rate during the paw withdrawal reflex evoked by noxious pinch or heat. On- and off-cells were injected with horseradish peroxidase and the initial course of labeled axons through the lower brainstem was reconstructed. On-cell projections to the pontomedullary raphe and medial reticular nuclei were sparse. On-cells projected densely to regions of the lateral reticular formation and the ventrolateral medulla at both rostral and caudal medullary levels. In general, on-cells had few collaterals and spare axonal swellings. In contrast to on-cells, most off-cells had axons that collateralized densely within the brainstem raphe and adjacent reticular formation. Such collaterals were either local, within the neuron's dendritic field, or distant, involving a projection of 1-8 mm. One off-cell had a dense terminal field within the sensory trigeminal complex, a projection that may subserve the inhibition of trigeminal sensory neurons produced by raphe magnus stimulation...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Structure of Reticular Formation of Spinal Cord
Axonal Transport
Entire Brainstem
Reticular Dysgenesis
Projections and Predictions
Entire Reticular Formation
Entire Medulla Oblongata
Reticular Formation (Classical)

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