Postnatal development of hypoglossal motoneurons that innervate the hyoglossus and styloglossus muscles in rat



Postnatal development of hyoglossus and styloglossus motoneurons was studied in this investigation of the hypoglossal nucleus. Our findings show separate and distinct locations for hyoglossus and styloglossus motoneurons within the retrusor (dorsal) subdivision of the hypoglossal nucleus for all age groups. Hyoglossus and styloglossus motoneuron cross-sectional area reached their adult size at different times (by weeks 2 and 3, respectively). Cell roundness, as measured by form factor (measure of cell perimeter relative to its area), decreased with advancing postnatal age for both populations of motoneurons. Differences in the direction of the dendritic projection between hyoglossus and styloglossus motoneurons were found. Hyoglossus and styloglossus motoneuron development was compared to genioglossus motoneuron postnatal development. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.