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Facial nerve parasympathetic preganglionic afferents to the accessory otic ganglia by way of the chorda tympani nerve in the cat

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 The distribution of accessory otic ganglia and connections between the ganglia and the chorda tympani nerve were investigated in the cat in order to determine the parasympathetic preganglionic facial nerve afferents to the otic ganglia using whole mount acetylthiocholinesterase (WATChE) histochemistry. The otic ganglia consist of a sigle main prominent ganglion and many small accessory ganglia lying on a plexus around the origins of the branches of the mandibular nerve and near the junction of the chorda tympani nerve and lingual nerve. In cell analysis of Nissl-stained preparations, the neurons composing the accessory otic ganglia were morphologically similar to the main otic ganglion neurons. Connecting branches from the chorda tympani nerve to the peripherally located acccessory otic ganglia were found and they were not stained by WATChE histochemistry. WATChE-positive connecting branches from the ganglia to the inferior alveolar, lingual, and mylohyoid nerves were also found in the same preparations. The WATChE histochemistry on various autonomic nervous tissues revealed that autonomic postganglionic nerve fibers are selectively stained darkly and that preganglionic fibers remain unstained. Therefore, it is considered that the WATChE-negative connections from the chordra tympani nerve consist chiefly of autonomic preganglionic fibers, whereas the WATChE-positive connections to the branches of the mandibular nerve are mainly postganglionic fibers. This suggests that some of the facial nerve parasympathetic preganglionic fibers in the chorda tympani nerve are mediated in the accessory otic ganglia and then join the branches of the mandibular nerve to supply the target mandibular tissues.

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Accepted: 25 November 1997

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Kuchiiwa, S., Kuchiiwa, T., Nonaka, S. et al. Facial nerve parasympathetic preganglionic afferents to the accessory otic ganglia by way of the chorda tympani nerve in the cat. Anat Embryol 197, 377–382 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004290050148

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  • Key words Glossopharyngeal nerve
  • Otic ganglion
  • Salivatory nucleus
  • Blood flow
  • Cranial nerve
  • Pterygopalatine ganglion