Trigeminal projections on gustatory neurons of the nucleus of the solitary tract: A double-label strategy using electrical stimulation of the chorda tympani and tracer injection in the lingual nerve

Rufino Felizardo, Yves Boucher, Adeline Braud, Earl Carstens, Céline Dauvergne, Fawzia Zerari-Mailly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Taste and sensory information are closely associated and our electrophysiological studies showed a trigeminal modulation of gustatory neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST). Chorda tympani (CT) and lingual nerves (LN) converge centrally in the rostral subdivision of the NST in hamsters and rats. However, no study has yet revealed the details of this overlap on a same section. We therefore used a double-label strategy to visualize neurons in the NST that receive both trigeminal and gustatory inputs. An anterograde tracer (BDA, Biotinylated Dextran Amine) was applied unilaterally to the cut central end of the LN in male Sprague-Dawley rats. One week later, the ipsilateral CT was electrically stimulated, after which animals were perfused and brainstem sections double-labelled for Fos immunoreactivity of activated NST neurons and BDA labelling of LN afferents. Our results permitted to circumscribe the regional overlap of the trigeminal and CT afferents mainly in the rostral central (RC) subdivision of the gustatory NST. Fos-immunoreactive neurons were observed to be closely apposed by BDA-labelled fibres and terminal boutons. Such varicosities mainly "en passant" were especially present in the RC zone of the nucleus. These observations provide an anatomical substrate for trigemino-gustatory interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Volume1288
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2009

Keywords

  • Anterograde labelling
  • Fos protein
  • Gustatory afferents
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • NST
  • Oral afferents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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