Medial superior olive
Golgi, electron microscope and horseradish peroxidase techniques
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Dendritic arborization pattern, spatial and synaptic relations of various neuron types and the terminal distribution of afferent axons of various origin were studied in the medial superior olivary nucleus of the cat using Golgi, degeneration, electron microscope and horseradish peroxidase techniques. Three types of neurons clearly different in morphological features, distribution, neighbourhood relations, input and output characteristics were distinguished: (1) fusiform cells having specific dendritic orientations and arborization patterns and synaptic relations to various types of terminal axon arborizations (2) multipolar neurons with wavy dendrites bearing spine-like appendages, receiving relatively few synaptic contacts and having a locally arborizing axon, and (3) elongated marginal cells, largely restricted to the fibrous capsule of the nucleus. The fusiform and marginal neurons were identified by retrograde peroxidase labeling as the olivo-collicular projection cells. Ultrastructural analysis of normal and experimental material revealed the presence of four distinct kinds of axon terminals differing in size, synaptic vesicles type, relation to postsynaptic targets and in origin: (i) large terminals with multiple extended asymmetric synaptic membrane specializations and containing round, clear vesicles arise from the spherical cells of the ipsilateral anteroventral cochlear nucleus, (ii) most of the small axon terminal profiles — engaged in asymmetric synaptic contacts — originated from the trapezoid nucleus, (iii) terminal boutons containing pleomorphic vesicles belong to fibers descending from the ipsilateral multipolar neurons in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus and from the nuclei of the lateral lemniscus while (iv) boutons containing exclusively ovoid vesicles and remaining intact after complete deafferentation of the nucleus were considered to be of local origin.
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