We have combined injections of Fast Blue with lesions of the rubrospinal tract rostral and contralateral to them to determine if an ipsilateral rubrospinal projection exists in adult or developing opossums and, if so, to characterize the neurons giving rise to it. Although the results indicate that some rubral neurons project ipsilaterally, they are very few in number. Using quantitative and image analysis techniques, we have shown that 0.6% of the rubral neurons that project to the lumbar cord in adult opossums do so ipsilaterally and that such neurons are comparable in location and size to those that project contralaterally. Similar results were obtained in developing opossums. Our results are discussed in light of rubrospinal development and ongoing experiments related to rubrospinal plasticity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)