Jul 14, 2006

Evidence for a direct, short latency projection from the dorsal cochlear nucleus to the auditory thalamus in the guinea pig

The European Journal of Neuroscience
L A AndersonAlan R Palmer


The auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, MGB) receives its main ascending input from the inferior colliculus (IC), which was considered to be an obligatory relay for all auditory inputs to the MGB. However, recent anatomical evidence in the rat [ (Malmierca et al. 2002) J. Neurosci., 22, 10891-10897] has confirmed the presence of a direct pathway from the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) to the medial MGB, bypassing the IC, as previously suggested in the chimpanzee [ (Strominger et al. 1977) J. Comp. Neurol., 172, 349-366]. We show that this direct pathway is also present in the guinea pig and apparently results in short latency responses in the thalamus. Injection of anterograde tracer into the DCN of five adult guinea pigs revealed terminal boutons and axonal swellings distributed throughout the medial MGB, but absent from all other MGB subdivisions. Electrophysiological recordings made from 39 adult guinea pigs (24 male & 15 female) showed neurons in the medial MGB responded with significantly shorter latencies to acoustic clicks (7.8 ms) than those from the ventral (11.0 ms), dorsal (14.4 ms), or shell (16.5 ms) MGB, consistent with the direct pathway from the DCN. The function of the direct pathway is not known but may ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Presynaptic Terminals
Behavior, Animal
Reaction Time
Structure of Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus
Synaptic Transmission
Fear (Mental Process)

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