Afferent and efferent connections of the medial, inferior and lateral vestibular nuclei in the cat and monkey

Brain Res. 1983 Nov 14;278(1-2):29-51. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(83)90223-8.


Attempts were made to determine the afferent and efferent connections of the medial (MVN), inferior (IVN) and lateral (LVN) vestibular nuclei (VN) in the cat and monkey using retrograde and anterograde axoplasmic transport technics. Injections of HRP and [3H]amino acids were made selectively into MVN, IVN and LVN and into: (1) MVN and IVN, (2) LVN and IVN and (3) all 4 VN. Contralateral afferents to MVN arise from (1) the nuclei prepositus (NPP) and intercalatus (NIC), (2) all parts of MVN and cell group 'y' and (3) parts of the superior vestibular nucleus (SVN), IVN and the fastigial nucleus (FN). Ipsilateral projections to MVN arise from: (1) a central band of the flocculus and the nodulus and uvula, (2) the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (INC), and (3) visceral nuclei of the oculomotor nuclear complex (OMC). Efferent projections of MVN are to: (1) the ipsilateral supraspinal nucleus (SSN), and (2) the contralateral central cervical nucleus (CCN), MVN, SVN, cell group 'y', the rostroventral region of LVN, the trochlear nucleus (TN) and the INC. Projections to the abducens nuclei (AN) and the OMC are bilateral. Some ascending fibers in the cat cross within the OMC. In the monkey fibers from MVN end in a central band of the ipsilateral flocculus. Afferents to IVN arise ipsilaterally from SVN, the nodulus, the uvula and the anterior lobe vermis. Contralateral afferents arise from: (1) parts of CCN, MVN, SVN, IVN and cell group 'y' and (2) the central third of the FN. IVN receives bilateral projections from the perihypoglossal nuclei (PH) and the visceral nuclei of the OMC. Efferents from IVN project: (1) ipsilaterally to nucleus beta of the inferior olive, (2) contralaterally to parts of MVN, SVN and cell group 'y' and (3) bilaterally to the paramedian reticular nuclei. No commissural fibers interconnect cell groups 'f' and 'x'. Ascending fibers from IVN terminate contralaterally in the TN and the OMC. In the monkey fibers from IVN terminate in the ipsilateral nodulus, uvula and anterior lobe vermis; no fibers project to FN in either the cat or the monkey. Afferents to the LVN arise primarily from the ipsilateral anterior lobe vermis and bilaterally from rostral parts of the FN. No commissural fibers interconnect the LVN. Projections of the LVN are primarily to spinal cord via the vestibulospinal tract (VST); collaterals of the VST terminate in the lateral reticular nucleus (LRN). Ascending uncrossed projections from LVN in the cat terminate in the medial rectus subdivision of the OMC.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats / physiology*
  • Cebidae / physiology*
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Lectins
  • Saimiri / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Vestibular Nuclei / physiology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Lectins
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase