Primate spinothalamic pathways: II. The cells of origin of the dorsolateral and ventral spinothalamic pathways

A. Vania Apkarian*, Charles J. Hodge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cells of origin of the dorsolateral (DSTT) and the ventral (VSTT) spinothalamic tracts were studied in 11 monkeys. The spinothalamic tract cells were retrogradely labeled by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) injected in the thalamus. All animals also received a midthoracic spinal cord lesion on the side ipsilateral to the thalamic injections. The distribution of labeled cells found in these animals throughout the cervical segments was similar to animals with no spinal cord lesions. Five animals had ventral quadrant lesions to demonstrate the cells of origin of the DSTT. In macaques with complete ventral quadrant lesions, more than 80% of the HRP label in the contralateral L4–L7 segments was located in lamina I, while in squirrel monkeys, the label in the contralateral lower lumbar region was distributed between laminae I–III and IV–VI. Few labeled cells were found in laminae VII–X. Six animals received dorsolateral funiculus lesions to demonstrate the cells of origin of the VSTT. In animals with adequate lesions, 84–99% of the contralateral HRP label in L4–L7 was located in laminae IV–X. Macaques had a larger percentage of labeled cells located in lamina I than squirrel monkeys. The results indicate the existence of two spinothalamic pathways in the primate. The DSTT was calculated to compose about one fourth of the total spinothalamic population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-492
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume288
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 1989

Keywords

  • dorsolateral funiculus
  • macaque monkey
  • spinal cord
  • squirrel monkey
  • ventral quadrant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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