The oculomotor nucleus, not the abducent, innervates the muscles which advance the nictitating membrane in birds.


The topographic distribution of the neurones that innervate the muscles that advance the nictitating membrane in birds was studied using intra-axonal retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase. The motor neurones are distributed in the oculomotor complex of the ipsilateral and contralateral sides. In the ipsilateral side, the neurones innervating the pyramidalis muscles were located in the dorsolateral, dorsomedial and ventromedial subnuclei, while those neurones innervating the quadratus muscle were found in the dorsomedial and dorsolateral subnuclei. In the contralateral side the neurones innervating both the pyramidalis and quadratus were distributed in the ventromedial and ventrolateral subnuclei. The sensory neurones were found in the trigeminal ganglion and trigeminal mesencephalic nucleus.


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