• acetylcholinesterase;
  • chemo-architecture;
  • histochemistry;
  • nomenclature;
  • tectum


The cytochrome oxidase (CO), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), myelin, and Nissl stains were studied and compared to develop an anatomical system identifying the laminar architecture of the mouse superior colliculus. The CO and myelin stains are shown to define collicular laminae more distinctly than does the Nissl stain. The layer of large rostrocaudally coursing fiber bundles that has formerly been referred to in the rodent literature as stratum album intermediale (SAI; layer V) is renamed as a sublayer of the stratum griseum intermediale (SGI; layer IV) to conform with the nomenclature for the cat superior colliculus of Kaneseki and Sprague ('74, J. Comp. Neurol. 158:319–338).

Patches of CO activity in layer IV (SGI) are shown that contain intensely stained, large, multipolar cell bodies. The CO patches do not correspond to those previously reported for AChE. The CO, myelin, and AChE stains all Indicate the presence of a large lateral extension termed the flank of layer IV (SGI). In contrast to the classical lamination pattern of the superior colliculus, the flank has no overlying layer II (stratum griseum superficiale, SGS) or layer III (stratum opticum, SO).