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Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Experimentation cerebrale


The medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) is one of the monaural cell groups situated within the superior olivary complex (SOC), a constellation of brainstem nuclei with numerous roles in hearing. Principal MNTB neurons are glycinergic and express the calcium-binding protein, calbindin (CB). The MNTB receives its main glutamatergic, excitatory input from the contralateral cochlear nucleus via the calyx of Held and converts this into glycinergic inhibition directed toward nuclei in the SOC and the ventral and intermediate nuclei of the lateral lemniscus (VNLL and INLL). Through this inhibition, the MNTB plays essential roles in localization of sound sources and encoding spectral and temporal features of sound. In rats, very few MNTB neurons project to the inferior colliculus. However, our recent study of SOC projections to the auditory thalamus revealed a substantial number of retrogradely labeled MNTB neurons. This observation led us to examine whether the rat MNTB provides a long-range projection to the medial geniculate body (MGB). We examined this possible projection using retrograde and anterograde tract tracing and immunohistochemistry for CB and the glycine receptor. Our results demonstrate a significant projection to the MGB from the ipsilateral MNTB that does not involve a collateral projection to the inferior colliculus.

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Rats; Inferior Colliculi; Auditory Pathways; Cerebellar Nuclei; Brain Stem; Neurons

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ePub ahead of print





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