Comparisons of the immunocytochemical localization of choline acetyltransferase in the vestibular nuclei of the monkey and rat

Brain Res. 1987 Aug 25;418(2):403-8. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(87)90112-0.


Immunocytochemical studies of the brainstem were done in the squirrel monkey and rat using the same polyclonal antisera for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Cells immunoreactive for ChAT (ChATir) were evident in large numbers in visceral and motor cranial nerve nuclei in both species, but virtually no ChATir cells were seen in the vestibular nuclear complex of the rat. In the monkey ChATir cells were distributed in caudal parts of the medial (MVN) and in dorsal parts of the inferior (IVN) vestibular nuclei. Only a few immunoreactive cells were seen in the rostral MVN and none were found in cell group f of the IVN. Nearly all cells of group z and x, which do not receive primary vestibular afferents, were immunoreactive to ChAT. None of the cells in the superior and lateral vestibular nuclei, cell group y, the infracerebellar nucleus or the interstitial nucleus of the vestibular nerve were immunoreactive for ChAT. Cells immunoreactive to ChAT were present in large numbers in the rostral part of the nucleus prepositus in the monkey, but not in the rat. The relatively small number and distribution of ChATir cells in the MVN suggested they could constitute only a small fraction of the MVN neurons that contribute to a massive commissural system. Significant differences in cholinergic vestibular neurons appear to exist between the rat and the monkey.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / analysis*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Saimiri
  • Species Specificity
  • Vestibular Nuclei / analysis*


  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase