Unilateral cochlear ablation before hearing onset disrupts the maintenance of dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus projection patterns in the rat inferior colliculus

Neuroscience. 2006 Nov 17;143(1):105-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.07.039. Epub 2006 Sep 12.


During postnatal development, ascending and descending auditory inputs converge to form fibrodendritic layers within the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (IC). Before the onset of hearing, specific combinations of inputs segregate into bands separated by interband spaces. These bands may define functional zones within the IC. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that unilateral or bilateral cochlear ablation at postnatal day 2 (P2) disrupts the development of afferent bands from the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL) to the IC. These results suggest that spontaneous activity propagated from the cochlea is required for the segregation of afferent bands within the developing IC. To test if spontaneous activity from the cochlea also may be required to maintain segregated bands of DNLL input, we performed cochlear ablations in rat pups at P9, after DNLL bands already are established. All animals were killed at P12 and glass pins coated with carbocyanine dye, DiI (1,1'-dioctodecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate), subsequently were placed in the commissure of Probst to label the crossed projections from both DNLLs. When compared with surgical controls, experimental results showed a similar pattern of DNLL bands in the IC contralateral to the ablated cochlea, but a disruption of DNLL bands in the IC ipsilateral to the cochlear ablation. The present results suggest that cochlear ablation after DNLL bands have formed may affect the maintenance of banded DNLL projections within the central nucleus of the IC.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Auditory Pathways / cytology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Cochlea / physiology*
  • Cochlea / surgery
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Functional Laterality
  • Inferior Colliculi / cytology*
  • Inferior Colliculi / growth & development*
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology*
  • Rats


  • Amino Acids
  • dolaisoleucine