Afferent and efferent projections of the VIIIth cranial nerve in the lamprey Lampetra japonica
Koyama, H.; Kishida, R.; Goris, R.C.; Kusunoki, T.
Journal of Comparative Neurology 280(4): 663-671
Anterograde and retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase was used to examine the afferent and efferent projections of the VIIIth cranial nerve in the lamprey Lampetra japonica. Ganglion cells of the VIIIth nerve are classified into three types on the basis of their morphology. The central processes of these ganglion cells enter the medulla in two groups: the anterior group (mostly thick fibers) and the posterior group (mostly thin fibers). Afferent fibers mainly terminate within the ipsilateral ventral and octavomotor nuclei of the octavolateralis area and within the granular and molecular layer of the cerebellum. Some fibers terminate in the contralateral cerebellum, the medial and dorsal nuclei of the octavolateralis area, the descending nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, some cranial motor nuclei, and the lateral octavus nucleus, which has not been described previously. This small nucleus is located beneath the descending nucleus of the trigeminal nerve near the obex. Within the ventral nucleus, thin fibers occupy the dorsal part and thick fibers occupy the ventral part. The basic projection pattern of the primary afferents of the VIIIth nerve in the lampreys was similar to that of gnathostome fishes that have been studied to date. Cell bodies of the efferent vestibular neurons are located between the ipsilateral trigeminal motor nucleus and the facial motor nucleus. The lateral location of these cell bodies differs from that of all other fish species that have been studied.