Musculotopic organization of the motor neurons supplying forelimb and shoulder girdle muscles in the mouse

Bacskai, Timea, Fu, Yuhong, Sengul, Gulgun, Rusznak, Zoltan, Paxinos, George and Watson, Charles (2013) Musculotopic organization of the motor neurons supplying forelimb and shoulder girdle muscles in the mouse. Brain Structure and Function, 218 1: 221-238. doi:10.1007/s00429-012-0396-3

Author Bacskai, Timea
Fu, Yuhong
Sengul, Gulgun
Rusznak, Zoltan
Paxinos, George
Watson, Charles
Title Musculotopic organization of the motor neurons supplying forelimb and shoulder girdle muscles in the mouse
Journal name Brain Structure and Function   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1863-2653
Publication date 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00429-012-0396-3
Open Access Status
Volume 218
Issue 1
Start page 221
End page 238
Total pages 18
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract We identified the motor neurons (MNs) supplying the shoulder girdle and forelimb muscles in the C57BL/6J mouse spinal cord using Fluoro-Gold retrograde tracer injections. In spinal cord transverse sections from C2 to T2, we observed two MN columns (medial and lateral) both with ventral and dorsal subdivisions. The dorsolateral column consisted of the biceps brachii, forearm extensors, forearm flexors, and hand MNs, and the ventrolateral column consisted of the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, teres major, deltoid, and triceps MNs. The supraspinatus muscle MNs were located in the dorsomedial column, and pectoralis major and serratus anterior MNs were located in the ventromedial columns. MNs of the dorsolateral column innervated the biceps brachii in mid-C4 to mid-C7, forearm extensors in caudal C4 to mid-T1, forearm flexors in rostral C5 to mid-T1, and hand muscles in mid-C8 to mid-T2 segments. The MNs innervating the trapezius were located in mid-C2 to mid-C4, triceps brachii in mid-C6 to rostral T1, deltoid in rostral C4 to mid-C6, teres major in rostral C5 to mid-C8, and latissimus dorsi in mid-C5 to caudal C8. In addition, MNs innervating the supraspinatus were located from rostral C4 to caudal C8, pectoralis major in mid-C6 to mid-T2, and serratus anterior in rostral C5 to caudal C7/rostral C8 segments. While the musculotopic pattern of MN groups was very similar to that documented for other species, we found differences in the position and cranio-caudal extent of some MN pools compared with previous reports. The identification of mouse forelimb MNs can serve as an anatomical reference for studying degenerative MN diseases, spinal cord injury, and developmental gene expression.
Keyword Forelimb
Motor neuron
Musculotopic organization
Retrograde tracing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Created: Mon, 27 Oct 2014, 15:42:28 EST by Sylvie Pichelin on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute