The present experiments continue our investigations of the higher order afferent systems controlling the orofacial musculature. Pseudorabies virus (PRV) was injected into the buccinator, platysma, posterior digastric, and zygomatic muscles in bilaterally sympathectomized rats. Injection volumes ranged from 6 to 12 μl with average titers of 7 X 108 pfu/ml and maximum survival times of 96 h. The labeling patterns and distributions were similar across the individual muscles and between muscle groups (perioral vs. posterior digastric), as well as in comparison to the results from previous masticatory muscle injections. Injections produced a predictable myotopic labeling pattern in the facial motor nucleus (Mo 7) and transneuronally in regions known to project directly to Mo 7 including the red nucleus, ventrolateral parabrachial region, principal trigeminal sensory nucleus, supratrigeminal area, and the parvicellular reticular formation. Maximum survival times revealed more distant connections from a variety of nuclear zones including the periaqueductal gray, laterodorsal and pedunculopontine tegmental areas, and the substantia nigra in the midbrain, ventromedial reticular regions including the gigantocellular region and pars alpha and ventralis in the pons and medulla, and the nucleus of the solitary tract, spinal trigeminal nucleus caudalis, paratrigeminal region, and paramedian field in the medulla. The similarity of the labeling patterns and distributions of the higher order afferents resulting from PRV facial and masticatory muscle injections identifies the neural circuits that may coordinate the activity of these muscle groups during oral motor behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology