Separate projections from the inferior colliculus to the cochlear nucleus and thalamus in guinea pigs

Hear Res. 2004 May;191(1-2):67-78. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2004.01.009.


We used multiple-labeling techniques with retrograde fluorescent tracers to determine whether individual cells in the inferior colliculus project to the medial geniculate body (MG) and the cochlear nucleus (CN) in guinea pigs. Four possible projection patterns were examined: (1) to ipsilateral MG and ipsilateral CN; (2) to ipsilateral MG and contralateral CN; (3) to contralateral MG and ipsilateral CN; and, (4) to contralateral MG and contralateral CN. Following injections of different tracers into two or more sites, no inferior collicular cells were double-labeled from the two contralateral targets and only a few cells were double-labeled from each of the other pairs of targets. The double-labeled cells always totaled < 1% of the single-labeled populations. We conclude that collateral projections from the inferior colliculus to the MG and CN are virtually non-existent. Therefore, the ascending and descending projections to these targets arise from different cells. These cells could potentially receive different inputs and send different information to higher or lower centers of the auditory pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Pathways / cytology*
  • Cochlear Nucleus / anatomy & histology
  • Cochlear Nucleus / cytology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology
  • Geniculate Bodies / cytology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Inferior Colliculi / anatomy & histology
  • Inferior Colliculi / cytology*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence