The data in this study, obtained from tract-tracing experiments in the monkey, imply that the palisade endings located at the myotendinous junction of eye muscles arise from the motor nuclei in the brain stem.
The purpose of this study was to localize the cell bodies of palisade endings that are associated with the myotendinous junctions of the extraocular muscles.
Rhesus monkeys received tract-tracer injections (tetramethylrhodamine dextran [TMR-DA] or choleratoxin subunit B [CTB]) into the oculomotor and trochlear nuclei, which contain the motoneurons of extraocular muscles. All extraocular muscles were processed for the combined immunocytochemical detection of the tracer and SNAP-25 or synaptophysin for the visualization of the complete muscle innervation.
In all muscles—except the lateral rectus—en plaque and en grappe motor endings, but also palisade endings, were anterogradely labeled. In addition a few tracer-labeled tendon organs were found. One group of tracer-negative nerve fibers was identified as thin tyrosine hydroxylase-positive sympathetic fibers, and a second less numerous group of tracer-negative fibers may originate from the trigeminal ganglia. No cellular or terminal tracer labeling was present within the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus or the trigeminal ganglia.
These results confirm those of earlier studies and furthermore suggest that the somata of palisade endings are located close to the extraocular motor nuclei—in this case, probably within the C and S groups around the periphery of the oculomotor nucleus. The multiple en grappe endings have also been shown to arise from these cells groups, but it is not possible to distinguish different populations in these experiments.