open access

Vol 63, No 3 (2004)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2004-06-04
Submitted: 2012-02-06
Get Citation

The spinal trigeminal nucleus - considerations on the structure of the nucleus caudalis

MC Rusu
Folia Morphol 2004;63(3):325-328.

open access

Vol 63, No 3 (2004)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2004-06-04
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The caudal part (nucleus caudalis) of the spinal trigeminal nucleus is considered to be the site of the second order neurons of the nociceptive pathways of the face. Recent studies have supported the co-participation in these circuits of the oral part of the same nucleus (nucleus oralis). The aims of the present study are: 1) to determine the morphology of the nucleus caudalis in human preparates; 2) to consider whether there is any structural basis for the pathways of signal transmission observed in animal experiments; 3) to provide evidence-based support for further consideration on the orofacial pathways.
The studies were made using the Bielschowsky silver staining technique (on blocks) applied to drawn pieces of brainstems from human cadavers. On the sections the outer laminae of the nucleus are distinguishable, while the inner part hardly exposes any laminar configuration on transverse cuts. A marginal plexus with small polygonal or rounded small cells appears configured in 3 parts, namely dorsal, intermediate and ventral. Outer to the marginal plexus a clear band marks it off from the interstitial plexus, which appears more delicate. Within the marginal plexus is substantia gelatinosa with rare randomly distributed small or medium-sized cells. The inner magnocellular layers consist of clusters of small cells specifically allocated to fibre bundles, isolated small cells and large cells, pear-shaped or fusiform, appearing either bipolar or multipolar. The marginal and interstitial plexuses can represent the framework for modulation and vertical signal transmission within the spinal trigeminal nucleus, while the magnocellular layers seem to be mainly responsible for contralateral projection.
It seems that the outer laminae of the spinal trigeminal nucleus may represent the receiver and the inner laminae the transmitter of the signal on the trigeminal pathway at brainstem level.

Abstract

The caudal part (nucleus caudalis) of the spinal trigeminal nucleus is considered to be the site of the second order neurons of the nociceptive pathways of the face. Recent studies have supported the co-participation in these circuits of the oral part of the same nucleus (nucleus oralis). The aims of the present study are: 1) to determine the morphology of the nucleus caudalis in human preparates; 2) to consider whether there is any structural basis for the pathways of signal transmission observed in animal experiments; 3) to provide evidence-based support for further consideration on the orofacial pathways.
The studies were made using the Bielschowsky silver staining technique (on blocks) applied to drawn pieces of brainstems from human cadavers. On the sections the outer laminae of the nucleus are distinguishable, while the inner part hardly exposes any laminar configuration on transverse cuts. A marginal plexus with small polygonal or rounded small cells appears configured in 3 parts, namely dorsal, intermediate and ventral. Outer to the marginal plexus a clear band marks it off from the interstitial plexus, which appears more delicate. Within the marginal plexus is substantia gelatinosa with rare randomly distributed small or medium-sized cells. The inner magnocellular layers consist of clusters of small cells specifically allocated to fibre bundles, isolated small cells and large cells, pear-shaped or fusiform, appearing either bipolar or multipolar. The marginal and interstitial plexuses can represent the framework for modulation and vertical signal transmission within the spinal trigeminal nucleus, while the magnocellular layers seem to be mainly responsible for contralateral projection.
It seems that the outer laminae of the spinal trigeminal nucleus may represent the receiver and the inner laminae the transmitter of the signal on the trigeminal pathway at brainstem level.
Get Citation

Keywords

brain stem; spinal trigeminal nucleus; human morphology

About this article
Title

The spinal trigeminal nucleus - considerations on the structure of the nucleus caudalis

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 63, No 3 (2004)

Pages

325-328

Published online

2004-06-04

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2004;63(3):325-328.

Keywords

brain stem
spinal trigeminal nucleus
human morphology

Authors

MC Rusu

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By  "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk, Poland

tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, faks:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail:  viamedica@viamedica.pl