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Central distributions of the efferent and afferent components of the pharyngeal branches of the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves: an HRP study in the cat

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The central distributions of efferent and afferent components of the pharyngeal branches of the vagus (PH-X) and glossopharyngeal (PH-IX) nerves in the cat were studied by soaking their central cut ends in a horseradish peroxidase (HRP) solution. HRP-labelled PH-X neurones were distributed ipsilaterally in the rostral part of the nucleus ambiguus (NA) and the retrofacial nucleus (RFN); HRP-labelled PH-IX neurones were found in the ipsilateral RFN and the bulbopontine lateral reticular formation (RF). Vagal pharyngeal neurones constituted a large population of brainstem motoneurones. The population of HRP-labelled glossopharyngeal neurones was divided into two components. Indeed, on the basis of their location and somal morphology, the most ventral cells were identified as cranial motoneurones and those scattered in the lateral RF as parasympathetic preganglionic neurones. Application of HRP to the PH-IX nerve resulted also in the labelling of fibres and terminals in the alaminar spinal trigeminal nucleus and the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). The afferent fibres entered the lateral medulla with the glossopharyngeal roots, ran dorsomedially, then turned caudally toward the NTS and the caudal part of the alaminar spinal trigeminal motor (V) nucleus. In the NTS, labelled fibres ran mainly along the solitary tract, projecting to terminals in the dorsal and dorsolateral nuclei of the NTS.

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Correspondence to L. Grélot.

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Grélot, L., Barillot, J.C. & Bianchi, A.L. Central distributions of the efferent and afferent components of the pharyngeal branches of the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves: an HRP study in the cat. Exp Brain Res 78, 327–335 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00228904

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Key words

  • Pharyngeal vagus nerve
  • Pharyngeal glossopharyngeal nerve
  • Nucleus ambiguus
  • Retrofacial nucleus
  • Lateral reticular formation
  • Nucleus of solitary tract
  • Alaminar spinal trigeminal nucleus
  • Horseradish peroxidase
  • Cat