Identification of Geniculo-Tectal Relay Neurons in the Rat's Ventral Lateral Geniculate Nucleus

Exp Brain Res. 1982;45(1-2):84-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00235765.


In the rat's ventral lateral geniculate nucleus (vLGN), geniculo-tectal relay neurons (GTR-neurons) could be identified by the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) after injection in the superior colliculus (SC). GTR-neurons correspond to class III cells described by Brauer and Schober (1973) in Golgi preparations of the rat's LGN. The distribution of GTR-neurons is restricted to the lateral subnucleus of vLGN. According to Swanson et al. (1974), the axons of these cells terminate in lower Stratum griseum superficiale and in Stratum opticum, Stratum griseum intermedium and Stratum album intermedium of SC. The GTR-neurons are characterized by very thick and long proximal dendritic segments which have a smooth surface. Dendrites branch preponderantly in their distal regions and only in this part form many multiform protrusions. There is some evidence that retinal axons terminate on these dendritic surface structures. The supposed differences in the afferent patterns between GTR-neurons in the vLGN and geniculo-cortical relay neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Functional Laterality
  • Geniculate Bodies / anatomy & histology*
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology
  • Histological Techniques
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase