Development of banded afferent compartments in the inferior colliculus before onset of hearing in ferrets

C. K. Henkel, C. J. Keiger, S. R. Franklin, J. K. Brunso-Bechtold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Axonal projections from the lateral superior olivary nuclei (LSO), as well as from the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) and dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL), converge in frequency-ordered layers in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (IC) where they distribute among different synaptic compartments. A carbocyanine dye, 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI), was used as a tracer to study the postnatal development of axonal projections in the ferret IC. The results indicated that projections from all three nuclei are present at birth, but are not segregated into bands. During the postnatal week between approximately postnatal days 4 and 12 (P4-P12), axons from LSO proliferate in IC, become more branched, and segregate into a series of bands composed of densely packed fibers and endings. LSO projections in these afferent bands course parallel to IC layers and are separated by intervening regions with few endings. A modest fit of a sine curve (R2>0.15) to the pattern of spacing of LSO projections in IC indicated that regularly spaced bands are forming by P7. Similarly, banded patterns of DCN and DNLL projections to IC have developed by the end of the first postnatal week. Thus, well before hearing onset in ferret (P28-30), three different afferent projections have segregated into banded compartments along layers in the central nucleus of the ferret IC. Possible mechanisms in circuit development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by NIH grant DC004412 and the Mr. and Mrs. A. Tab Williams, Jr. and Family Neuroscience Research and Program Development Endowment.


  • carbocyanine dye
  • dorsal cochlear nucleus
  • dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus
  • fibrodendritic layers
  • lateral superior olivary nucleus
  • postnatal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of banded afferent compartments in the inferior colliculus before onset of hearing in ferrets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this