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Musculotopic organization of the orbicularis oculi within the facial motor nucleus of the albino rat

Author(s): Kurup S | Bharihoke V | Sangari SK

Journal: Neuroanatomy
ISSN 1303-1783

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 46;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: neuroanatomy | anatomy | Fast Blue | Diamidino Yellow | Albino rat | orbicularis oculi | facial motor nucleus | facial nerve

Musculotopic organization of the motor neuron pools innervating the orbicularis oculi within the facial motor nucleus of the albino rat was investigated using retrograde fluorescent tracers – Fast Blue and Diamidino Yellow – and histological techniques. The facial motor nucleus consisted of multipolar motor neurons. It had a rostrocaudal extent of 1.07 ± 0.02 cm and consisted of 5 subnuclei – medial, intermediate, dorsolateral,ventrolateral and suprafacial. Retrograde labelling by exposure of the proximal cut end of the nerve to orbicularis oculi to the tracers ipsilaterally and then bilaterally revealed ipsilateral labelling of scattered neurons in all subdivisions of the facial motor nucleus except the suprafacial. Double labelling of a few neurons were observed indicating the origin of some nerves from the contralateral nucleus also. These results confirm previous studies regarding musculotopic organization of the facial motor nucleus and support the fact that sparing of orbicularis oculi in the upper motor neuron lesions could be attributed to the bilateral innervation at the lower motor neuron level.

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