This report characterizes the cells and fibers in one part of the cochlear nucleus, the posterior division of the anteroventral cochlear nucleus. This includes the region where the cochlear nerve root enters the brain and begins to form endings. Nissl stains reveal the somata of globular cells with dispersed Nissl substance and those of multipolar cells with coarse, clumped Nissl bodies. Both parts of the posterior division contain cells with each Nissl pattern, but in different relative numbers and locations. Golgi impregnations demonstrate two types of neurons: bushy cells, with short bush-like dendrites, and stellate and elongate cells, with long tapered dendrites. Several varieties of bushy cells, differing in the morphology of the cell body and in the size and extent of the dendritic field, can be distinguished. Comparison of the distributions of these cell types, as well as cellular morphology, suggest that the globular cells recognized in Nissl stains correspond to bushy neurons, while the multipolar cells correspond to stellate and elongate neurons. Golgi impregnations reveal large end-bulbs and smaller boutons from cochlear nerve fibers, as well as boutons from other, unidentified sources, ending in this region. The particular arrangements of the dendritic fields of the different cell types and the axonal endings associated with them indicate that these neurons must have different physiological properties, since they define different domains with respect to the cochlear and non-cochlear inputs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas