Source: Bazwinsky-2003

Characterization of the human superior olivary complex by calcium binding proteins and neurofilament H (SMI-32)

Bazwinsky I, Hilbig H, Bidmon H-J, Rübsamen R
Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2003 Jan;456(3):292-303

This study provides a morphologic characterization of the human superior olivary complex as revealed by immunohistochemistry by using antibodies against the calcium binding proteins parvalbumin, calbindin, calretinin, and the nonphosphorylated neurofilament H SMI-32. By combining these markers, it was possible to establish the neuronal architecture and details of the morphologic organization (including axonal terminals) of the different nuclei. The medial superior olivary nucleus is formed by a sheet of parallel-oriented cells. A clear segregation of axon terminals was noticed on the medially and laterally oriented dendrites of the mostly bipolar neurons. The lateral superior olivary nucleus lacked a distinct nuclear shape but was formed by several patches of rather irregularly arranged neurons. Calretinin or parvalbumin immunoreactive afferent terminals were observed which contacted somata or dendrites of these neurons. The immunolabeling also revealed the boundaries of the dorsal periolivary nucleus and morphologic detail of its neurons. A coherent nuclear structure that could be addressed as the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body was not identified by any single one or by combinations of the markers used. The data were also used to establish a three-dimensional-reconstruction of the three major subnuclei of the superior olivary complex. The results are discussed with respect to the possible role of the superior olivary complex in the processing of spatial acoustic information in the azimuthal plane.

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