Rhombomere-specific origin of the contralateral vestibulo-acoustic efferent neurons and their migration across the embryonic midline

Neuron. 1993 Aug;11(2):209-20. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(93)90179-u.


The bilateral efferent supply to the inner ear receptor fields is located in the hindbrain. In ovo injections of Dil into the common facial/vestibulo-acoustic nerve root at 3 days of chick development (stage 16) followed by analysis at 7 days has revealed the origin of the contralateral efferent neurons of the inner ear and their relation to the transient hindbrain rhombomeres. These neurons have a rhombomere 4-specific origin and form their commissure not by axonal outgrowth but, unusually, by transmedian cell migration into the contralateral rhombomere 4 and rhombomere 5. Neurons first project their axons from the ipsilateral basal plate through the VII/VIIIth nerve exit point and then migrate in the opposite direction, crossing the floor plate at stage 19-21. This rhombomere-specific cell behavior provides evidence at the cellular level that segmentation is intimately involved in establishing the pattern of this region of the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / embryology*
  • Carbocyanines
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement
  • Chick Embryo
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Facial Nerve / cytology
  • Facial Nerve / physiology
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Neurons, Efferent / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / embryology*
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / cytology
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiology


  • Carbocyanines
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • 3,3'-dioctadecylindocarbocyanine