Branching patterns of rabbit oculomotor and trochlear nerves demonstrated by Sihler's stain technique

Biotech Histochem. 2002 Jan;77(1):21-5.


A modified Sihler's stain technique was used to visualize the branching patterns of oculomotor and trochlear nerves. The levator palpebrae, superior rectus, inferior rectus, medial rectus, inferior oblique, superior oblique and tensor trochlea muscles were isolated from the eyes of normal rabbits and processed using modified Sihler's technique. The distributions and terminal ramifications of the oculomotor and trochlear nerves were observed. Two distinct divisions and terminal branches of the oculomotor nerve were shown in detail together with the trochlear nerve distribution. The application of Sihler's technique enables researchers to trace nerve branching within relatively transparent muscles, whereas the nerve fibers are counterstained and clearly visible. This technique could be useful for detailed studies of the motor control of extraocular muscles.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents
  • Oculomotor Muscles / innervation
  • Oculomotor Nerve / anatomy & histology*
  • Rabbits
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Trochlear Nerve / anatomy & histology*


  • Coloring Agents