Preprint Review Version 3 This version is not peer-reviewed

Functional Organisation and Connectivity of the Dorsal Column Nuclei Complex Reveals a Sensorimotor Integration and Distribution Hub

Version 1 : Received: 7 November 2019 / Approved: 8 November 2019 / Online: 8 November 2019 (04:07:34 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 22 February 2020 / Approved: 24 February 2020 / Online: 24 February 2020 (05:40:26 CET)
Version 3 : Received: 6 March 2020 / Approved: 8 March 2020 / Online: 8 March 2020 (17:17:31 CET)

How to cite: Loutit, A.J.; Vickery, R.M.; Potas, J.R. Functional Organisation and Connectivity of the Dorsal Column Nuclei Complex Reveals a Sensorimotor Integration and Distribution Hub. Preprints 2019, 2019110084 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0084.v3). Loutit, A.J.; Vickery, R.M.; Potas, J.R. Functional Organisation and Connectivity of the Dorsal Column Nuclei Complex Reveals a Sensorimotor Integration and Distribution Hub. Preprints 2019, 2019110084 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201911.0084.v3).

Abstract

The dorsal column nuclei complex (DCN-complex) includes the dorsal column nuclei (DCN, referring to the gracile and cuneate nuclei collectively), external cuneate, X, and Z nuclei, and the median accessory nucleus. The DCN are organised by both somatotopy and modality, and have a diverse range of afferent inputs and projection targets. The functional organisation and connectivity of the DCN implicate them in a variety of sensorimotor functions, beyond their commonly accepted role in processing and transmitting somatosensory information to the thalamus, yet this is largely underappreciated in the literature. To consolidate insights into their sensorimotor functions, this review examines the morphology, organisation, and connectivity of the DCN and their associated nuclei. First, we briefly discuss the receptors, afferent fibres, and pathways involved in conveying tactile and proprioceptive information to the DCN. Next, we review the modality and somatotopic arrangements of the remaining constituents of the DCN-complex. Finally, we examine and discuss the functional implications of the myriad of DCN-complex projection targets throughout the diencephalon, midbrain, and hindbrain, in addition to their modulatory inputs from the cortex. The organisation and connectivity of the DCN-complex suggest that these nuclei should be considered a complex integration and distribution hub for sensorimotor information.

Subject Areas

brainstem sensory nuclei; somatosensation; secondary afferents; posterior column

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 8 March 2020
Commenter: Jason Potas
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Title change to match submitted manuscript, acknowledgements added
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