Central representation of dental structures in the kitten, including projections to the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus

Michael A. Henry, Lesnick E. Westrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was injected into either a single maxillary or a single mandibular primary (deciduous) cuspid tooth of 8- to 10-week-old kittens. The large apex of the primary cuspid allowed for some leakage of the HRP from the pulpal chamber to the periodontal ligament (PDL). Thus, the injection procedure resulted in the application of HRP to the PDL as well as to the pulpal tissues. The transganglionic transport of HRP resulted in discrete terminal fields within the spinal trigeminal nucleus (STN) and the main sensory nucleus (MSN). These projections were clearly somatotopically organized within the STN, but less so within MSN. Within pars oralis (PO) and pars interpolaris (PI), mandibular cuspid dental structures (MdCDS) were represented in a dorsal position relative to the maxillary cuspid dental structures (MxCDS), whereas within pars caudalis (PC) and the adjacent reticular formation the somatotopic representation was not dorsoventral, but rather mediolateral, with the MdCDS represented more medially than the MxCDS. Areas of overlap between MxCDS and MdCDS were found within MSN and to a lesser degree within the superficial laminae of PC. In addition, the fiber pathway leading to labeled somata in the mesencephalic trigeminal (Mes V) nucleus was clearly identified. The majority of the fibers traced to the Mes V nucleus exited the spinal trigeminal tract at the level of the transition from PO to the MSN and traversed the nuclear region in a position dorsal to and separate from the trigeminal motor tract. As in STN, fibers within the caudal Mes V tract appeared to be somatotopically organized, with the fibers from the MdCDS generally more dorsal than the ones from the MxCDS. Labeled fibers, some with terminal arbors, were also identified in close association with the trigeminal motor tract. The findings show a complex pattern of central representation in the immature feline central nervous system for deciduous dental structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-462
Number of pages16
JournalSomatosensory & Motor Research
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Keywords

  • Mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus
  • Periodontium
  • Tooth pulp
  • Trigeminal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems

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