Cross over of forebrain and brainstem neuronal projections to spinal cord sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the rat

Tal Shahar, Miklós Palkovits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Neuronal inputs from the forebrain and the brainstem to sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the spinal cord were investigated by the transneuronal retrograde tracing technique using pseudorabies virus in intact and brainstem-lesioned rats. After unilateral subcutaneous viral inoculations into the hind limb of intact rats, infected neurons were then visualized by immunostaining. At 3.5 days after inoculation, infected neurons appeared in the thoracic (T10) intermediolateral (IML) cell column. On the 4th day, infected neurons were present in the C1, A5, A6, A7 catecholamine cell groups and the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVMM). On the 5th day, viral labeling was seen in the hypothalamic paraventricular and arcuate nuclei and the lateral hypothalamic area. In all of these nuclei, the infected cells appeared bilaterally. However, the appearance of virus-labeled cells in these nuclei was unilateral following unilateral coronal sections between the medulla and the spinal cord (depending on the side of hemisection, but not on the site of virus inoculation). Midsagittal sections throughout the entire medulla oblongata did not alter the topographical pattern of virus-infected neurons in the forebrain or the brainstem. These findings indicate that descending fibers to the spinal neurons may not cross over in the lower brainstem but that they decussate within the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypothalamus
  • Medulla oblongata
  • Neurotropic virus
  • Pathway transections
  • Retrograde tract-tracing
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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