2013 Volume 90 Issue 1 Pages 7-15
The vagal motor neurons project to the gastrointestinal tract by way of the gastric, celiac and hepatic branches of the vagus trunk. We have examined whether single neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV) have collateral projections to the stomach, the duodenum and the intestines using a double-labeling tracing method. Following application of Fluorogold to the cut end of the accessory celiac branch and injection of cholera toxin subunit b (CTb) into the body of stomach, many Fluorogold- and CTb-labeled neurons were found throughout the DMV. Most CTb-labeled neurons (about 90%) were also labeled with Fluorogold. When Fluorogold was applied to the cut end of the accessory celiac or the gastric branch and CTb was injected into the duodenum, many Fluorogold-labeled neurons and CTb-labeled neurons were found in the DMV. About 20% of CTb-labeled neurons were also labeled with Fluorogold. These results indicate that many neurons in the DMV send collateral projections to both the stomach and the intestines innervated by way of the celiac branch. However, many neurons in the DMV projecting to the duodenum do not project to the stomach or the intestines caudal to the duodenum.