Distribution of calcium-binding protein immunoreactivities in the guinea pig auditory brainstem

Alejandro Caicedo, Christine D'Aldin, Jean Luc Puel, Michel Eybalin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This study was intended to provide an overview of the distribution of calcium-binding proteins in the rodent auditory brainstem. We based our observations on immunohistochemical material obtained in the guinea pig, a species widely used in auditory research in which a mapping of calcium-binding proteins in the auditory brainstem is still missing. Differences in the amounts of these proteins throughout the auditory brainstem were further analyzed semiquantitatively. Parvalbumin was present in most neurons and their axon terminals throughout the ascending auditory brainstem. Nuclei that surround the main relay nuclei of the ascending auditory pathway lacked labeling. Calretinin staining was prominent in spherical and globular cells of the cochlear nucleus, in their axon terminals in the superior olivary complex, and in principal cells of the medial superior olive. Measures of optical densities showed that auditory neurons involved in sound localization had the highest calretinin labeling levels. Calbindin D-28k was present in cartwheel cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus, in almost all neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body, and in globular cells in the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus. The labeling patterns for calretinin and calbindin D-28k were non-overlapping throughout the auditory brainstem. This was also evident in the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus where calbindin D-28k-immunoreactive terminals were found in the medial portion, while the calretinin-immunoreactive terminals were observed in the lateral portion. This study presents the first direct and comprehensive comparison of these three calcium-binding proteins in the auditory brainstem of a rodent. Each antibody yields a unique staining pattern that provides a basis for further defining neuronal populations. In addition, since their axons are also selectively stained, auditory nuclei can further be compartmentalized based on different terminal fields. These immunoreactivities have provided clues to the complex structure of the auditory brainstem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-487
Number of pages23
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Calbindin D-28k
  • Calretinin
  • Cochlear nucleus
  • Parvalbumin
  • Superior olivary complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Embryology


Dive into the research topics of 'Distribution of calcium-binding protein immunoreactivities in the guinea pig auditory brainstem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this