Innervation of the larynx, pharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter of the rat

James B. Kobler, Subimal Datta, Raj K. Goyal, Elizabeth J. Benecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We identified a ‘semicircular’ compartment of the rat thyropharyngeus muscle at the pharyngoesophageal junction and used the glycogen depletion method to determine how the fibers of this muscle (as well as all others of the pharynx and larynx) are innervated by different cranial nerve branches. The semicircular compartment appears anatomically homologous to the human cricopharyngeus muscle, an important component of the upper esophageal sphincter. While we found very little overlap in the muscle targets of the pharyngeal, superior laryngeal and recurrent laryngeal nerves within the pharynx and larynx, the semicircular muscle receives a dual, interdigitating innervation from two vagal branches: the pharyngeal nerve and a branch of the superior laryngeal nerve we call the dorsal accessory branch. After applying horseradish peroxidase to either of these two nerves, we compared the distribution and number of cells labeled in the brainstem. The dorsal accessory branch conveys a more heterogeneous set of efferent fibers than does the pharyngeal nerve, including the axons of pharyngeal and esophageal motor neurons and parasympathetic preganglionic neurons. The observed distribution of labeled motor neurons in nucleus ambiguus also leads us to suggest that the semicircular compartment is innervated by two subsets of motor neurons, one of which is displaced ventrolateral to the main pharyngeal motor column. This arrangement raises the possibility of functional differences among semicircular compartment motor neurons correlated with the observed differences in brainstem location of cell bodies. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-147
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume349
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

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Upper Esophageal Sphincter
Motor Neurons
Larynx
Pharynx
Pharyngeal Muscles
Muscles
Brain Stem
Laryngeal Nerves
Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve
Medulla Oblongata
Cranial Nerves
Horseradish Peroxidase
Glycogen
Axons
Cell Count
Neurons

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Innervation of the larynx, pharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter of the rat. / Kobler, James B.; Datta, Subimal; Goyal, Raj K.; Benecchi, Elizabeth J.

In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, Vol. 349, No. 1, 01.01.1994, p. 129-147.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kobler, James B. ; Datta, Subimal ; Goyal, Raj K. ; Benecchi, Elizabeth J. / Innervation of the larynx, pharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter of the rat. In: Journal of Comparative Neurology. 1994 ; Vol. 349, No. 1. pp. 129-147.
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