Effects of unilateral and bilateral cochlea removal on 2-deoxyglucose patterns in the chick auditory system

J Comp Neurol. 1986 Oct 15;252(3):279-301. doi: 10.1002/cne.902520302.


The 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) method was used to map functional activity in the auditory system of chicks that had been subjected to unilateral or bilateral cochlea removal. Following survival times of 1 day to 4 weeks, chicks were exposed to continuous white noise in the 2DG experiments. In monaural subjects nucleus angularis and nucleus magnocellularis showed faint 2DG uptake on the side contralateral to the intact ear. In the binaural nucleus laminaris, the asymmetrical and almost mirror-imaged labeling pattern (Lippe, Stewart, and Rubel: Brain Res. 196:43-58, '80) was produced. The superior olive (OS) was strongly labeled on the ipsilateral side, whereas the contralateral OS showed only a slight 2DG uptake at its medial border. The lateral lemniscus and nucleus lemnisci lateralis, pars ventralis (LLv) showed stronger activation on the contralateral side. Both Nissl stains and 2DG patterns provide evidence that nucleus ventralis lemnisci lateralis (VLV) can be subdivided into an anterior (VLVa) and a posterior (VLVp) part. Whereas VLVp is labeled only contralaterally, VLVa is labeled on both sides with similar intensity. Nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis, pars dorsalis (MLD) is strongly labeled throughout contralaterally. The ipsilateral MLD shows a defined ventral portion of high 2DG uptake. Intensity of labeling here is symmetrical to the corresponding area of the contralateral MLD. These symmetrical patterns were related to the tonotopic organization of MLD, which was mapped in intact animals by using tone stimuli. Assuming that symmetrical 2DG uptake in monaural animals indicates excitatory input from both ears (EE-cells), it appears that these EE-cells occupy a sector of each isofrequency plane in MLD. Nucleus ovoidalis (Ov) generally was stronger labeled on the contralateral side. The columnar organization of field L as seen in monaural chicks has already been described (Scheich, Exp. Brain Res. 51:199-205, '83). In bilaterally deafened chicks, MLD, Ov, and layer L2 of field L showed strong but spatially restricted 2DG accumulation in contrast to absence of labeling in peripheral nuclei. The 2DG patterns in monaural chicks are likely to reflect excitatory input within the auditory system. In addition they reveal new insights into the functional organization of some of its nuclei. In particular, they support the notion that MLD contains maps of several interaural integration mechanisms similar to field L. Labeling in the auditory system of bilaterally deafened chicks may result from descending projections or from other than auditory inputs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / metabolism*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Chickens
  • Cochlea / physiology*
  • Cochlear Nerve / physiology
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Olivary Nucleus / physiology
  • Pitch Perception / physiology
  • Pons / physiology


  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose