Organization of the superior olivary complex in the guinea pig: II. Patterns of projection from the periolivary nuclei to the inferior colliculus.
The superior olivary complex is a major source of auditory projections to the inferior colliculus. Although the projections from the medial and lateral superior olivary nuclei have been well characterized, projections from the surrounding periolivary nuclei have received relatively little attention. In the guinea pig, cytoarchitectonic criteria can be used to distinguish 11 periolivary nuclei that can be divided into four groups. These are: 1) a lateral group that comprises the anterolateral and posteroventral periolivary nuclei and the lateral nucleus of the trapezoid body; 2) a dorsal group that comprises the dorsal and dorsolateral periolivary nuclei; 3) a ventral group that comprises the rostral, ventromedial, and anteroventral periolivary nuclei and the ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body; and 4) a medial group that comprises the superior paraolivary nucleus and the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body. In the present study we used horseradish peroxidase and fluorescent tracers to identify olivocollicular cells in each of the periolivary nuclei. The lateral, dorsal, and medial periolivary groups project bilaterally, and the ventral periolivary group projects ipsilaterally. Within groups, individual nuclei contain different numbers of olivocollicular cells. The posteroventral periolivary nucleus is the only periolivary nucleus that does not project to the inferior colliculus. The superior paraolivary nucleus is the only periolivary nucleus that contains significant numbers of individual cells that project to both inferior colliculi. The remaining periolivary nuclei project only ipsilaterally or contain separate populations of cells that project to the two inferior colliculi.
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