Afferents to the flocculus of the cerebellum in the rhesus macaque as revealed by retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase

J Comp Neurol. 1985 May 1;235(1):1-25. doi: 10.1002/cne.902350102.


To investigate the afferent projections to the flocculus in a nonhuman primate, we injected horseradish peroxidase into one flocculus of six rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and processed their brains according to the tetramethylbenzidine protocol to reveal retrogradely labeled neurons. Labeled neurons were found in a large set of nuclei within the rostral medulla and the pons. The greatest numbers of labeled neurons were in the vestibular complex and the nucleus prepositus hypoglossi. There were neurons labeled bilaterally throughout all the vestibular nuclei except the lateral vestibular nucleus, but most of the labeled neurons were in the caudal parts of the medial and inferior vestibular nuclei and in the central part of the superior vestibular nucleus; the nucleus prepositus was also labeled bilaterally, primarily caudally. Modest numbers of labeled neurons were found in the y-group, most ipsilaterally, and many neurons were labeled in the interstitial nucleus of the vestibular nerve. No labeled neurons were found in the vestibular ganglion following a large injection into the flocculus. A second large source of afferents to the flocculus was the medial, paramedial, and raphe reticular formation. Dense aggregates of labeled neurons were located in several pararaphe nuclei of the rostral medulla and the rostral pons and in the nucleus reticularis paramedianus of the medulla and several component nuclei of the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis bilaterally. Several groups of cells within and abutting upon the medial and rostral aspects of the abducens nucleus were labeled bilaterally. There was a modest projection from two parts of the pontine nuclei. Both a dorsal midline nucleus ventral to the nucleus reticularis tegmenti pontis and a collection of nuclei in a laminar region adjacent to the contralateral middle cerebellar peduncle contained labeled neurons whose numbers, while modest, were large compared to the projections to the flocculus in other animals. This generic difference may be due to the greater development of the smooth pursuit system in monkeys and the consequent need for a more substantial input from the cerebral cortex. As in other genera, the inferior olive projected to the flocculus via the dorsal cap of Kooy and the contiguous ventrolateral outgrowth. The projection was completely crossed and large injections labeled virtually every neuron in the dorsal cap, suggesting that the dorsal cap is the principal source of climbing fiber afferents.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abducens Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Eye Movements
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Hypoglossal Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Medulla Oblongata / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Olivary Nucleus / anatomy & histology
  • Pons / anatomy & histology
  • Raphe Nuclei / anatomy & histology
  • Reticular Formation / anatomy & histology
  • Vestibular Nuclei / anatomy & histology


  • Horseradish Peroxidase