Pathway Specificity of Reticulospinal and Vestibulospinal Projections in the 11-day Chicken Embryo

J Comp Neurol. 1988 Apr 1;270(1):25-38, 60-1. doi: 10.1002/cne.902700104.


The organization of the axonal pathways of reticulospinal and vestibulospinal projections in the 11-day chicken embryo was ascertained through retrograde tracing experiments. An in vitro preparation of the brainstem and cervical spinal cord facilitated precisely localized tracer applications. Single- and double-labelling experiments involving high cervical injections of tracers in combination with selective lesions defined the specific pathways by which different brainstem neurons project to the spinal cord. Coherent, and in many cases distinct, groups of reticulospinal and vestibulospinal neurons could thus be identified on the basis of their position and projection pathway. The organization of these groups and their projections in the 11-day chicken embryo is similar to that in avian and other vertebrate adults and therefore serves as a reference point for studies of pathfinding by bulbospinal axons during early development.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology
  • Brain Stem / embryology*
  • Chick Embryo / anatomy & histology*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Gestational Age
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Medulla Oblongata / anatomy & histology
  • Medulla Oblongata / embryology
  • Reticular Formation / anatomy & histology
  • Reticular Formation / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord / embryology*
  • Vestibular Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Vestibular Nerve / embryology


  • Horseradish Peroxidase