Birthdates of trigeminal ganglion cells contributing axons to the infraorbital nerve and specific vibrissal follicles in the rat

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Abstract

Prenatal labelling with [3H]-thymidine was combined with retrograde tracing techniques in adult rats to determine the birthdates of the trigeminal (V) ganglion cells that contributed axons to the infraorbital nerve (ION) and the generation of the subsets of ION cells that innervated specific vibrissae follicles (C-1 and C-5). The V ganglion cells contributing axons to the ION are born between embryonic (E-, E-0 = the day of conception) days 9.5 and 14.5. The percentages (normalized so that they total 100%) of the total V ganglion population born on E-9.5 through E-14.5 were 5.8, 25.7, 19.8, 23.4, 21.0, and 4.4%, respectively. The distribution of birthdates for the V ganglion cells that were retrogradely labelled from the ION closely matched that for the ganglion as a whole. All of these neurons were also born on E-9.5 through E-14.5, and the percentages born on each day were 6.3, 23.6, 18.1, 24.0, 23.6, and 4.4%. Finally, a similar distribution of birthdates was obtained for the V ganglion cells that were retrogradely labelled after injection of retrograde tracers into either the C-1 or C-5 vibrissae follicles. We were unable to detect any distinctive spatial distributions for either all V ganglion or ION cells born on a specific embryonic day. Furthermore, neurons with a given birthdate and that innervated a given follicle were distributed throughout the entire region containing all of the ganglion cells supplying the follicle in question. Therefore, it appears that the V ganglion cells contributing axons to the ION are born over the entire period of ganglion neurogenesis and further that the organization of the ION's innervation of the periphery is not a function of cell birthdate.

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