Origin of ascending auditory projections to the nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis pars dorsalis in the chicken

Brain Res. 1986 Mar 5;367(1-2):96-113. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(86)91583-0.


Ascending auditory projections to the nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis pars dorsalis (MLd) were studied in white Leghorn chickens by means of unilateral injections of horseradish peroxidase into the MLd and by injections of tritiated leucine into nucleus angularis or the combined nucleus magnocellularis and nucleus laminaris. The experiments showed that nucleus angularis sends an extensive projection to the contralateral MLd and a smaller projection to the rostral pole of the ipsilateral MLd; the lagenar region contributes to these bilateral connections. Nucleus angularis also projects bilaterally to the superior olive and nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis and to the contralateral nucleus lemnisci lateralis pars ventralis and dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus. Projections from nucleus laminaris were demonstrated to the ipsilateral superior olive, to the contralateral lemniscal nuclei and a small medial region in MLd bilaterally; the contralateral projection is much denser than the ipsilateral one. Other nuclei having ascending connections with MLd include the contralateral superior olive, the ipsilateral nucleus lemnisci lateralis pars ventralis, the contralateral nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis and the contralateral MLd. The ipsilateral superior olive and nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis also project to MLd but much more sparsely than in their contralateral projection. Although several of these findings correspond with auditory connections previously shown in the pigeon brainstem, they differ fundamentally in that we find both nucleus angularis and nucleus laminaris projecting to different areas of the MLd on both sides of the brain. In particular, our observation that the cochlear nucleus has bilateral connections with MLd demonstrates an important avian similarity with the brainstem auditory pathways of other terrestrial vertebrates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Chickens / anatomy & histology*
  • Cochlear Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Medulla Oblongata / anatomy & histology
  • Mesencephalon / anatomy & histology*