Funicular course of catecholamine fibers innervating the lumbar spinal cord of the cat

R. T. Stevens*, A. V. Apkarian, C. J. Hodge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the funicular location of descending catecholamine (CA) fibers innervating the lumbar spinal cord from the dorsolateral pons (DLP). The locations of catecholamine-containing cell bodies which project to the lumbar spinal cord were determined by combining the use of the retrogradely transported fluorescent dye, Evans Blue (EB), with the glyoxylic acid histofluorescence technique. Lumbar injections of Evans Blue were combined with thoracic lesions of the dorsolateral funiculi (DLF) or ventrolateral funiculi (VLF) in order to retrogradely label those CA-containing or non-CA-containing cell bodies whose axons descend within the spared hemispinal cord. By this technique it was determined that descending CA fibers innervating the lumbar spinal cord of the cat project through both the DLF and the VLF. The nucleus subcoeruleus, the Kolliker-Fuse nucleus and the CA cell bodies in the area of A5 each contain a significant number of CA-containing cells whose fibers descend both within the DLF and the VLF, while the nucleus locus coeruleus projects to the lumbar cord primarily through the VLF. Catecholamine cells of the DLP innervate the lumbar spinal cord bilaterally, although there is an ipsilateral predominance. The CA-containing cells of the DLP which innervate the contralateral spinal cord were shown by ipsilateral or contralateral thoracic hemisection to decussate both above and below the thoracic lesion. Non-CA-containing cells from the DLP also crossed at all levels of the spinal cord; however, cells from the caudal pons had a larger number of cells which crossed above the thoracic lesion while cells of the more rostral pons had a larger number of cells which crossed below the lesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-251
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Volume336
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 17 1985

Keywords

  • bulbospinal
  • catecholaminergic
  • funicular projections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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