Dendritic and axonal morphology of HRP-injected neurons in the inferior colliculus of the cat

J Comp Neurol. 1991 Jan 1;303(1):75-100. doi: 10.1002/cne.903030108.


The dendritic and axonal morphology of neurons in the inferior colliculus of the cat was investigated after intracellular injection of HRP, in vivo. All injected axons gave off local collaterals, and most showed a widespread distribution and lacked a specific orientation. In contrast, the dendrites of injected neurons were distinguished by their degree of orientation and the direction of the longest axis of orientation. Dendrites showed a high, moderate, or low degree of orientation. Most highly oriented cells had their longest axis in the rostrocaudal direction with fewer in the mediolateral direction. In the central nucleus, only the rostrocaudally oriented cells correspond to the disc-shaped cells identified in Golgi preparations. Unlike most cells in our sample, the two cells that were disc-shaped had axons that were parallel to the orientation of the dendritic tree. In the dorsal cortex, rostrocaudally oriented cells also were found, but they had unoriented axons. In both the central nucleus and dorsal cortex, cells with a mediolateral axis of orientation or no specific orientation correspond to stellate cells and had axons with widespread local collaterals. These results suggest that an extensive network of local axon collaterals may contribute to neural processing within the inferior colliculus. In the central nucleus, local axons may establish connections within or across the fibrodendritic laminae. In the dorsal cortex, the local and afferent axons may form a complex reticular network. Finally, some injected cells had axons terminating locally and also entering the brachium of the inferior colliculus. This suggests that cells in the inferior colliculus may function as both interneurons and projection neurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / ultrastructure*
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Cats / anatomy & histology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Inferior Colliculi / ultrastructure*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase