Kim Spencer D.

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Spencer D.

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  • Preprint
    Catecholaminergic connectivity to the inner ear, central auditory, and vocal motor circuitry in the plainfin midshipman fish porichthys notatus
    ( 2014-03-28) Forlano, Paul M. ; Kim, Spencer D. ; Krzyminska, Zuzanna M. ; Sisneros, Joseph A.
    Although the neuroanatomical distribution of catecholaminergic (CA) neurons has been well documented across all vertebrate classes, few studies have examined CA connectivity to physiologically and anatomically identified neural circuitry that controls behavior. The goal of this study was to characterize CA distribution in the brain and inner ear of the plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus) with particular emphasis on their relationship with anatomically labeled circuitry that both produces and encodes social acoustic signals in this species. Neurobiotin labeling of the main auditory end organ, the saccule, combined with tyrosine hydroxylase immunofluorescence (TH-ir) revealed a strong CA innervation of both the peripheral and central auditory system. Diencephalic TH-ir neurons in the periventricular posterior tuberculum, known to be dopaminergic, send ascending projections to the ventral telencephalon and prominent descending projections to vocal–acoustic integration sites, notably the hindbrain octavolateralis efferent nucleus, as well as onto the base of hair cells in the saccule via nerve VIII. Neurobiotin backfills of the vocal nerve in combination with TH-ir revealed CA terminals on all components of the vocal pattern generator, which appears to largely originate from local TH-ir neurons but may include input from diencephalic projections as well. This study provides strong neuroanatomical evidence that catecholamines are important modulators of both auditory and vocal circuitry and acoustic-driven social behavior in midshipman fish. This demonstration of TH-ir terminals in the main end organ of hearing in a nonmammalian vertebrate suggests a conserved and important anatomical and functional role for dopamine in normal audition.