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J Comp Neurol 2003 Feb 17;4564:321-37. doi: 10.1002/cne.10514.
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Central projections of thoracic splanchnic and somatic nerves and the location of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in Xenopus laevis.

Nakano M , Kishida R , Funakoshi K , Tsukagoshi M , Goris RC , Kadota T , Atobe Y , Hisajima T .

The central and peripheral organization of thoracic visceral and somatic nervous elements was studied by applying dextran amines to the proximal cut ends of the thoracic splanchnic and somatic nerves in Xenopus laevis. Many labeled dorsal root ganglion cells of visceral afferents, and all somatic afferents, were located in a single ganglion of one spinal segment, and the two types of cells were distributed topographically within the ganglion. The labeled sympathetic preganglionic neurons were located predominantly in the same area of the thoracic spinal gray as in other frogs and in mammals. The labeled visceral afferents projected to Lissauer's tract and the dorsal funiculus. The visceral fibers of the tract ascended to the level of the subcerebellar area, supplying collateral branches to the lateral one-third of the dorsal horn and to the area of brainstem nuclei, including lateral cervical and descending trigeminal nucleus, and descended to the filum terminale. The visceral fibers of the dorsal funiculus were distributed to the dorsal column nucleus and the solitary tract. A similar longitudinal projection was also seen in the somatic afferents. The dual central pathway of thoracic primary afferents in the anuran spinal cord is a property held in common with mammals, but the widespread rostrocaudal projection through Lissauer's tract may be a characteristic of the anuran central nervous system. In frogs, the direct transmission of primary afferent information to an extremely wide area of the central nervous system may be important for prompt assessment of environmental factors and control of body functions.

PubMed ID: 12532405
Article link: J Comp Neurol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Antibodies: Biotinylated Dextran Amine