Projections from the superior olive and lateral lemniscus to tonotopic regions of the rat's inferior colliculus
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The projections to physiologically defined tonotopic regions of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC) from the adult rat's superior olivary complex (SOC) and lateral lemniscus were investigated using retrograde tract tracing methods. Iontophoretic injections of the retrograde tracers, Fluoro-Gold (FG) or horseradish peroxidase (HRP), were made into the ICC through a glass micropipette, which also served as a recording electrode to determine the frequency response at the injection site. Injections were made into frequency-specific regions based on the best responses of neurons to contralaterally presented tones between 2 25 kHz. In the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL) neurons were labeled both ipsilaterally and contralaterally to the injection site with a larger proportion projecting to the contralateral side. The distribution of labeled cells was concentric, with high frequencies represented along the outer margin and low frequencies represented centrally within DNLL. The lateral superior olive (LSO) was labeled bilaterally, with high frequencies represented medially and low frequencies laterally along the nuclear axis. The projection from the medial superior olive (MSO) was ipsilateral, with high frequencies represented ventrally and low frequencies dorsally. The projection from the superior paraolivary nucleus (SPN) was also largely ipsilateral, with high frequencies represented medially and low frequencies laterally. The intermediate and ventral nuclei of the lateral lemniscus (INLL and VNLL) were also labeled ipsilaterally and exhibited a distribution of tracer that depended on the frequency of the injection site: the low frequency projection was banded but the high frequency projection was more evenly distributed.
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