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Purkinje-like cells in rat cochlear nucleus

, : Purkinje-like cells in rat cochlear nucleus. Hearing Research 72(1-2): 143-158

A unique class of cells, strongly immunopositive for anti-calbindin D-28 kDa was observed in and near the cochlear nucleus of young adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats. These cells are present in small numbers which are highly variable across animals and inconstant in position. They are preferentially located in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, with occasional examples being present in the ventral cochlear nucleus, as well as in adjacent brainstem locations. They have been referred to in other studies as displaced Purkinje cells or 'Purkinje cell-like cells', and are here designated 'Purkinje-like cells' (PLCs). PLCs have relatively large cell bodies, with thick, heavily spined dendrites, and are typically situated in an immediately subpial position. The dendritic arborization extends into the interior of the nucleus, away from the pial surface, a trajectory opposite in direction to that of the cerebellar Purkinje cells. The intense immunoreactivity exhibited by PLC somata and dendrites when treated with antiserum directed against calbindin is equivalent to that of cerebellar Purkinje cells, and markedly stronger than that of most other cell populations of the cochlear nucleus. However, in tissue treated with anti-parvalbumin, which also strongly labels cerebellar Purkinje cell somata and dendrites, PLC labeling, when present, is relatively weak, limited to the cell bodies and only the base of the dendrites of PLCs, indicating non-equivalence of the two cell types. In addition, the intensity of calbindin immunostaining in the PLCs appears to be more sensitive to glutaraldehyde in any of the fixative solutions than that seen in cerebellar Purkinje cells in the same sections. Of the cell types of the cochlear nucleus, the cartwheel cells would appear to be the most similar to the PLCs on morphological and immunocytochemical grounds. However, the subpial position and average somal dimensions of the PLCs, as well as the relatively modest immunoreactivity of the cartwheel cells for calbindin, rather clearly differentiate the PLCs from this class of neurons. The results of the present study suggest that the PLCs of the cochlear nucleus, although they may arise developmentally as ectopic cerebellar Purkinje cells and maintain certain Purkinje cell characteristics, represent a distinct neuronal cell type in the adult rat cochlear nucleus, exhibiting incomplete overlap of fixation, immunocytochemical and morphological characteristics with both cartwheel cells of the cochlear nucleus and cerebellar Purkinje cells.


PMID: 8150731

DOI: 10.1016/0378-5955(94)90214-3

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