The present study has confirmed the observations previously reported by Torvik (1956) that hemisection of the mesencephalon in young cats causes a marked and rapid loss of neurons in the homolateral pontine nuclei. As the main afferent connections of the pontine nuclei originate in the cerebral cortex and pass through the homolateral cerebral peduncle, the most likely explanation is that the neuronal degeneration was caused by the deafferentation of the pontine nuclei, i.e. that we are dealing with a transneuronal degeneration. Because of the severe reaction, other possible causes were also considered by Torvik, such as ischemic vascular lesions, direct mechanical lesions caused by the operative trauma, and retrograde degeneration.


Nerve Cell Cerebellar Cortex Pontine Nucleus Cerebral Peduncle Lateral Geniculate Body 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Hugo Trumpy

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