Meso-diencephalic regions projecting to spinal cord and dorsal column nuclear complex in the hedgehog-tenrec, Echinops telfairi

Anat Embryol (Berl). 1992;185(1):57-68. doi: 10.1007/BF00213601.


The distribution of neurons projecting to the spinal cord and dorsal column nuclear complex was investigated in the mesodiencephalic regions of the lesser hedgehog-tenrec, Echinops telfairi (Insectivora) by using the retrograde flow technique. While only few neurons projected to the dorsal column nuclear complex, numerous cells were found to give rise to spinal projections. Rubro-spinal neurons of various sizes were distributed over the entire rostrocaudal extent of the contra-lateral nucleus; a few neurons were also located ipsilaterally, Unlike that of the opossum, the projection appeared to be somatotopically organised. Interstitio-spinal neurons were differentiated into several subpopulations according to their location and laterality of projection. In the ipsilateral periventricular grey, in addition, there was a distinct population of cells possibly corresponding to the nucleus of Darkschewitsch. The mesencephalic central grey contained relatively few labeled neurons, the great majority of them being mesencephalic trigeminal, ectopic cuneiform or midline cells. Labeled cuneiform and midline cells, on the other hand, were quite numerous, extending both from a level just caudal to the trochlear nucleus to levels far beyond the rostral tip of the somatic oculomotor nucleus. The discrepancy between the poorly differentiated oculomotor nuclei and the apparently well-developed Edinger-Westphal complex is discussed. Hypothalamo-spinal neurons were essentially restricted to dorsal regions: the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PAV), the dorso-medial (DmHy) and dorso-intermediate cell groups as well as the lateral hypothalamic zone. The latter two cell groups were bilaterally labeled, while the labeled neurons in DmHy and PAV were located predominantly ipsilaterally. Labeled neurons in the amygdala, colliculus superior and mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus were only found following cervical injections; all other mentioned areas and the posterior commissure complex projected to, at least, midthoracic level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diencephalon / anatomy & histology*
  • Diencephalon / cytology
  • Hedgehogs
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Hypothalamus / anatomy & histology
  • Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Mesencephalon / anatomy & histology*
  • Mesencephalon / cytology
  • Red Nucleus / anatomy & histology
  • Red Nucleus / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase