Location of parotid preganglionic neurons in the inferior salivatory nucleus and their relation to the superior salivatory nucleus of rat

Ödön Rezek, Zsolt Boldogkoi, Dóra Tombácz, Csaba Kovágó, Ida Gerendai, Miklós Palkovits, Ida E. Tóth

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In major brain maps the location of the salivatory nuclei of the rat is depicted from the level of the root of the facial nerve to the level of the rostral tip of the nucleus of the solitary tract. Most published data deal with the superior salivatory nucleus (SSN). In the present study the topography of the parasympathetic preganglionic neurons of the inferior salivatory nucleus (ISN) that innervate the parotid gland through the otic ganglion was determined by means of a retrograde transneuronal labeling technique. Parasympathetic, sympathetic and sensory neurons were labeled following injection of the virus into the parotid gland. The majority of the ISN neurons were found dorsal to the facial motor nucleus, embedded in the parvocellular reticular formation. In addition to the ISN neurons, virus-labelled cells were present in the intermediolateral (IML) cell column of the thoracic spinal cord, in the brainstem catecholamine groups, and in medullary raphe neurons. The removal of the ipsilateral superior cervical ganglion prior to the virus injection into the parotid gland did not influence the labeling of the ISN neurons but labeled neurons were not observed in the IML and A5 catecholamine cell group. In our previous study we had defined the relationship between the lacrimal and submandibular subdivison of the SSN, while in the present study we defined the relationship between the ISN and the lacrimal subdivision of SSN: the later located ventrolaterally to the caudal portion of the ISN. On the basis of these data a three-dimensional topography is given suggesting the relationship between the ISN and SSN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-269
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 8 2008



  • Dual-viral tract-tracing
  • Inferior salivatory nucleus
  • Parotid innervation
  • Pseudorabies virus recombinants
  • Superior salivatory nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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