A light and electron microscopic study of premotor neurons for the trigeminal motor nucleus

J Comp Neurol. 1983 Apr 10;215(3):290-8. doi: 10.1002/cne.902150305.


Premotor neurons sending their axons to the trigeminal motor nucleus were observed in the cat by light and electron microscopy after labeling the neurons retrogradely or anterogradely with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). After HRP injection into the trigeminal motor nucleus, retrogradely labeled neurons were seen most frequently in the parvocellular reticular formation bilaterally. Many labeled neurons were also seen contralaterally in the intermediate zone at the rostralmost levels of the cervical cord and its rostral extension into the caudalmost levels of the medulla oblongata. Additionally, some neurons were labeled ipsilaterally in the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus, contralaterally in the main sensory trigeminal nucleus and the trigeminal motor nucleus, and bilaterally in the oral and interpolar subnuclei of the spinal trigeminal nucleus. Only a few labeled neurons were seen in the confines of the gigantocellular reticular formation. All labeled neurons were small or of medium size; no large neurons were labeled. After HRP injection into the regions around the trigeminal motor nucleus or the parvocellular reticular formation, axodendritic terminals containing HRP granules were found contralaterally within the trigeminal motor nucleus. Some of these labeled terminals were filled with round synaptic vesicles and others contained pleomorphic synaptic vesicles. The varied morphology of labeled axon terminals was considered to reflect the functional heterogeneity of the premotor neurons for the trigeminal motor nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission*
  • Trigeminal Nuclei / physiology*
  • Trigeminal Nuclei / ultrastructure


  • Horseradish Peroxidase