Collateral of recurrent laryngeal nerve fibres innervate the thymus: A fluorescent tracer and HRP investigation of efferent vagal neurons in the rat brainstem

Atanassios Dovas, Maria Luisa Lucchi, Ruggero Bortolami, Annamaria Grandis, Angela R. Palladino, Elisa Banelli, Mauro Carretta, Franco Magni, Nazareno Paolocci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The origin and course of efferent vagal fibers, which innervate the rat thymus, were investigated by a fluorescent retrograde double labeling method, using Fast blue (FB) and Diamidino yellow dihydrochloride (DY) as tracers. In the same animal, one tracer was injected into the cranial portion of the right lobe of the thymus and the other dye was deposited around the cute end of the right recurrent laryngeal nerve. The neuronal population giving origin to the concurrent nerve was mapped by using retrograde labeling with HRP applied to the central stump on the nerve. The HRP retrograde axonal transport showed that most efferent vagal fibers of the recurrent nerve have their perikarya in the nucleus retroambigualis (NRA), nucleus ambiguus (NA), and to a lesser extent in the nucleus retrofacialis (NRF). In fluorescent retrograde double labeling of thymus and recurrent laryngeal nerve both single and double labeled cells were found. The cells labeled by the injections into the thymus were colocalized with the neurons labeled by the tracer deposited in the recurrent laryngeal nerve to the NRA, NA, and NRF. Moreover along the rostrocaudal extent of the NRF and NA double labeled cells were present, showing that some of the thymic efferent are collaterals of the recurrent nerve fibers. Our experiments shown that some thymic vagal fibres originate from neurons of nucleus dorsalis nervi vagi (NDV) as demonstrated both by HRP and FB injected thymuses. The possible role of these efferents in thymic function is briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalBrain research
Volume809
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Recurrent laryngeal nerve
  • Retrograde tracer
  • Thymus
  • Vagus nerve nuclei

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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