Common fur and mystacial vibrissae parallel sensory pathways: 14 C 2-deoxyglucose and WGA-HRP studies in the rat.

Frank R Sharp, M. F. Gonzalez, C. W. Morgan, M. T. Morton, J. W. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Stimulation of mystacial vibrissae in rows A,B, and C increased (14C) 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) uptake in spinal trigeminal nucleus pars caudalis (Sp5c) mostly in ventral portions of laminae III-IV with less activation of II and V. Stimulation of common fur above the whiskers mainly activated lamina II, with less activation in deeper layers. The patterns of activation were compatible with an inverted head, onion skin Sp5c somatotopy. Wheatgerm Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase (WGA-HRP) injections into common fur between mystacial vibrissae rows A-B and B-C led to anterograde transganglionic labeling only of Sp5c, mainly of lamina II with less label in layer V, and very sparse label in III and IV. WGA-HRP skin injections appear to primarily label small fibers, which along with larger fibers, were metabolically activated during common fur stimulation. Mystacial vibrissae stimulation increased 2DG uptake in ventral ipsilateral spinal trigeminal nuclei pars interpolaris (Sp5i) and oralis (Sp5o) and principal trigeminal sensory nucleus (Pr5). Common fur stimulation above the whiskers slightly increased 2DG uptake in ventral Sp5i, Sp5o, and possibly Pr5. The most dorsal aspect of the ventroposteromedial (VPM) nucleus of thalamus was activated contralateral to whisker stimulation. Stimulation of the common fur dorsal to the whiskers activated a region of dorsal VPM caudal to the VPM region activated during whisker stimulation. This is consistent with previous data showing that ventral whiskers and portions of the face are represented rostrally in VPM, and more dorsal whiskers and dorsal portions of the face are represented progressively more caudally in VPM. Mystacial vibrissae stimulation activated the contralateral primary sensory SI barrelfield cortex and a separate region in the second somatosensory SII cortex. Common fur stimulation above the whiskers activated a cortical region between the SI and SII whisker activated regions of cortex. It is proposed that this region represented the combined SI and SII common fur regions of somatosensory neocortex. Both whisker and common fur stimulation activated all layers of cortex, with layer IV being most activated followed by II-III, V, and VI. These data indicate that sensory input from the mystacial vibrissae in the adult rat is processed in brainstem, thalamic, and cortical pathways which are predominantly parallel to those which process information from the neighboring common fur sensory receptors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-469
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Common fur and mystacial vibrissae parallel sensory pathways: 14 C 2-deoxyglucose and WGA-HRP studies in the rat.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this