Cortical innervation of the hypoglossal nucleus in the non-human primate (Macaca mulatta)

  1. Robert J. Morecraft
  2. Kimberly S. Stilwell-Morecraft
  3. Kathryn M. Solon-Cline
  4. Jizhi Ge
  5. Warren G. Darling


The corticobulbar projection to the hypoglossal nucleus was studied from the frontal, parietal, cingulate and insular cortices in the rhesus monkey using high-resolution anterograde tracers and stereology. The hypoglossal nucleus received bilateral input from the face/head region of the primary (M1), ventrolateral pre- (LPMCv), supplementary (M2), rostral cingulate (M3), and caudal cingulate (M4) motor cortices. Additional bilateral corticohypoglossal projections were found from the dorsolateral premotor cortex (LPMCd), ventrolateral proisocortical motor area (ProM), ventrolateral primary somatosensory cortex (S1), rostral insula and pregenual region of the anterior cingulate gyrus (areas 24/32). Dense terminal projections arose from the ventral region of M1, moderate projections from LPMCv and rostral part of M2, with considerably less hypoglossal projections arising from the other cortical regions. These findings demonstrate that extensive regions of the non-human primate cerebral cortex innervate the hypoglossal nucleus. The widespread and bilateral nature of this corticobulbar connection suggests recovery of tongue movement after cortical injury that compromises a subset of these areas, may occur from spared corticohypoglossal projection areas located on the lateral, as well as medial surfaces of both hemispheres. Since functional imaging studies have shown that homologous cortical areas are activated in humans during tongue movement tasks, these corticobulbar projections may exist in the human brain.

… slides, Brain Research Laboratories, Newton, MA), dried overnight and coverslipped
(No. 1, 40x50mm glass coverslips, Brain Research Laboratories, Newton, MA) using …

J. Comp. Neurol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original Article