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Lab 1 Major Brain Structures Human Brain Overview: Dissection I Today you will identify some of the key

structures that are visible from the external surface of the brain, the major arteries and veins that supply the brain and the major internal structures in the forebrain. Three atlases provided for each laboratory group:
Woolsey, Hanaway, Gado, 2008 The Brain Atlas: A Visual Guide to the Human Central Nervous System, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 3rd Edition. A beautifully illustrated and welldocumented 3rd edition that includes labeled sections in standard planes, plus extensive information about major pathways in different functional systems. This is the primary atlas for this course, but at times (such as today) a different atlas will be used. DeArmond, et al. 1989 Structure of the Human Brain, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford. This is a true picture atlas, with black and white photographs of cellular and white matter stained sections, supplemented with line drawings, clearly labeled parts, without text. Heimer, 1994, The Human Brain and Spinal Cord. Functional Neuroanatomy and Dissection Guide., 2nd edition Springer-Verlag, New York. Clear drawings of dissections, components, connection "wiring" diagrams, and cellular circuits, with text. Overlaps somewhat with Kandel et al.

Leaf through the books to familiarize yourself with their general layout and organization. Pick up the brain from your bucket, rinse it off thoroughly, and place it on one of the trays.

In the first part of this lab, follow the dissection instructions in the Heimer text on pages 61 to 77 (First Dissection and part of the Second Dissection). Note: Before you cut the brain in half in the mid-sagittal plane, first cut off and reserve the brainstem and cerebellum, by making a cut through the cerebral peduncles, and between the superior and inferior colliculi. Put the brainstem and cerebellum back in the bucket, for use with a later lab.
4. Perturbations in blood flow (strokes, etc.) are a major cause of neurological disorders, and it is important for every clinician to know the distribution of major arteries supplying the brain. In the first part of the lab (pp. 61-68) you are asked to review this pattern. Figure 4-1 in Heimer (supplemented with Figs. 4-2 through 4-5) should provide your major visual guide

in this process. Pages 38-39 of the Woolsey atlas are also helpful for this dissection. Figure 1 on the next page of this handout provides an overview that should also be used for reviewing your knowledge at the end of this section. At the end of this section, be sure you know the origin and distribution of the following arteries. To confirm this, identify and label the arteries marked with an asterisk (*) and shown in bold on the unlabeled Figure 1.

Vertebral Artery* Anterior Spinal Artery* Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery (PICA)* Basilar Artery* Anterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery (AICA)* Internal auditory artery (Labyrinthine Artery) Pontine Arteries* Superior Cerebellar Artery* Posterior Cerebral Artery* Posterior Choroidal Artery Posterior Cortical Branches Internal Carotid Artery* Opthalmic Artery Anterior Cerebral Artery* Anterior Communicating Artery* Recurrent Artery of Heubner Pericallosal and Callosomarginal Arteries Middle Cerebral Artery* Posterior Communicating

Figure 1. Branches of the vertebral arteries carry the blood supply to the brain stem. A. Dorsal view (adapted from Patten, 1977). B. Three-dimensional blown-up view along the longitudianl axis of the brain stem. Details of area indicated by box are illustrated in A. (adapted

As you go through subsequent neuroanatomy labs, be sure you can identify the blood supply of each brain structure that you study.

5. In the second part of the lab, you are asked to identify the cranial nerves and other major structures on the basal surface of the brain (see figure 4-6 of Heimer).

At the end of this part, be sure you know the following structures. Using the unlabeled Figure 2 of this handout, identify and label all of the structures listed below, as well as the cranial nerves. Olfactory Bulb and Tract Optic Chiasm and Optic Tract Hypophysis (Pituitary Gland) Mammillary Bodies Midbrain and Cerebral Peduncle Pons and Middle Cerebellar Peduncle Medulla and Medullary Pyramid Cerebellum Cranial Nerves (from Heimer, pp. 71-72)
I. Olfactory nerve

Its Ganglion
Corresponds to the olfactory receptor cells in the olfactory mucosa Corresponds to the ganglion cells in the retina Ciliary ganglion (parasympathetic)

Exit from Brain
Olfactory bulb

II. Optic nerve III. Oculomotor nerve

Optic chiasm In front of the pons in the interpenduncular fossa Dorsally, behind the inferior colliculus Anterolateral part of the pons

IV. Trochlear nerve


V. Trigeminal nerve 1. Ophthalmic nerve 2. Maxillary nerve 3. Mandibular nerve VI. Abducens nerve

Trigeminal ganglion (som.) pterygopalatine ganglion, otic ganglion, and submandibular ganglion (all parasympathetic) are topographically related to the Vth nerve --

Between the pons and the pyramid of the medulla oblongata Between the pons and the olive in the cerebellopontine angle

VII. Facial nerve

Geniculate ganglion (somatic)

VIII. Vestibulocochlear nerve 1. Cochlear nerve 2. Vestibular nerve IX. Glossopharyngeal nerve

Spiral ganglion Vestibular ganglion Superior ganglion Inferior ganglion Superior ganglion

Lateral VII in the cerebellopontine angle

On the lateral side of the olive

X. Vagus nerve

On the lateral side of the olive, behind IX 1. On the lateral side of the olive, behind X 2. From the 5 or 6 first segments of the cervical part of the spinal cord Between the pyramid and the olive

XI. Accessory nerve


XII. Hypoglossal nerve


Figure 2

6. In the third part of the lab, you are asked to cut the brain in the midsagittal plane, and to identify the major structures on the medial and lateral surface of the cerebral hemisphere (see figures 4-7 to 4-10 of Heimer).

At the end of this part, be sure you can identify the following structures. Using the unlabeled figures 3 and 4 of this handout, identify all of the structures listed below. Pons Cerebellum Fourth Ventricle Midbrain Cerebral Aqueduct Superior and Inferior Colliculi (Tectum) Thalamus Hypothalamus Third Ventricle Corpus Callosum Fornix Anterior and Posterior Commissures Frontal Lobe Parietal Lobe Temporal Lobe Occipital Lobe Insula

Figure 3

Figure 4

7. The last part of the 2nd Dissection in Heimer (pp. 77-80) deals with the major sulci and gyri of the cerebral cortex. Recall from the preceding lecture that the cortex becomes highly convoluted during development so that its large surface area can fit compactly inside the skull. Some of the major folds (sulci and gyri) have a relatively consistent location and appearance, but many others are quite variable from one hemisphere to the next. Some of the major sulci provide useful landmarks for specific functional areas and systems. You should try to identify the following major sulci and gyri: Lateral (Sylvian) sulcus (which includes primary auditory cortex) Central (Rolandic) sulcus (which includes primary somatosensory and motor cortex) Cingulate sulcus and gyrus (which includes areas involved in emotions) Calcarine sulcus (which includes primary visual cortex) Parahippocampal gyrus and Uncus (which includes areas involved in memory)

Brain Dissection - Coronal & Horizontal Sections of Forebrain Laboratory 1 Part II Now, you will identify and examine the major subcortical structures (e.g. nuclei, ventricles) of the forebrain (cerebral hemispheres, thalamus and hypothalamus) and the midbrain. This will be done by making 1 cm thick coronal or horizontal slices through each hemisphere, and identifying structures with reference to the atlas by Woolsey, Hanaway, and Gado (WA) or the Dearmond et al atlas (DA). Also examine the transparencies of stained coronal and horizontal sections on the large light boxes. You can also refer to the coronal and horizontal sections of the cerebral hemisphere in the Bacus program on the laptops. The purpose of this lab is to give you "hands on" experience of the three-dimensional structure of the hemisphere, to supplement the two-dimensional photos in atlases and elsewhere. Use the half-brain provided for the first part of the lab (coronal sections). As you cut the slices, be aware of the ventricular spaces, nuclear masses etc., in the remaining, uncut, portion of the hemisphere. Lay out the slices in sequence on the tray for examination. You can also stack up the cut slices to "reassemble" the hemisphere, in order to re-examine the 3-D structure. In the course of this dissection, the complexity of the cortical convolutions will be apparent as you inspect different slices through the hemisphere. Unfortunately, the different functional subdivisions of cerebral cortex that will be discussed in later lectures are in general not recognizable in unstained tissue. Moreover, their locations in relation to the different sulci are difficult to recognize owing to the complexity and variability of the convolutions, especially as they appear in brain slices. This is why the lab focuses primarily on major subcortical nuclei and white matter structures that can be identified with the naked eye.

Anterior Coronal Slices Before you start, scan the following description, and note the major structures that you are asked to identify. Then, begin to slice one hemisphere into 1 cm thick coronal (frontal) sections, using the long slicing knife provided. Begin at the frontal pole of the hemisphere, and continue until you reach the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle. Try to cut on the plane of section shown on the figure to the right: Cut off two or three more slices, so that you see sections similar to that on pages 58, 60, 68 (WA) or 42, 44, 46 (DA) of the atlas. Note the large corpus callosum, crossing dorsal to the ventricles between the two hemispheres. If your were lucky with your cut you may also see the anterior commissure crossing ventral to the ventricles, as shown on p. 60 (WA), p. 44 (DA). The corpus callosum is the major pathway for axons crossing from the cerebral cortex on one side to the other. The anterior commissure links “limbic” structures in the medial temporal lobe and the ventral part

of the frontal lobe. (p. 60-61 WA) The nuclear masses deep to the cortical white matter, and lateral to the ventricle are the basal ganglia. At this level the major parts of basal ganglia are the caudate nucleus (medially, against the ventricle) and the putamen. They are partially separated by a thick band of white matter, the internal capsule. The internal capsule carries axons between the cortex and subcortical structures, including the thalamus, the brainstem and the spinal cord. On the section in front of (rostral to) the anterior commissure, ventromedial to the edge of the internal capsule, is a third, related structure, the nucleus accumbens (page 58, WA, p. 42, DA). There is no sharp line of demarcation between it and the caudate nucleus or putamen. Together these three form the corpus striatum (which is striped or “striated” by the internal capsule). They receive synaptic input from all parts of the cerebral cortex. They are involved in motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s chorea, and may also be involved in more cognitive disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. (p. 70-75 WA) Another part of the basal ganglia is the globus pallidus, situated ventromedial to the putamen at the level of the anterior commissure, and further posteriorly (see pages 60, 68 WA; pages 44, 46, DA).

The cells in this structure are relatively dispersed among many myelinated fibers, and it therefore appears more pale or “pallid” in unstained tissue than the putamen. It receives synaptic input from the caudate, putamen and accumbens, and provides the major pathway for output from the striatum to the thalamus. In the medial part of the temporal lobe, ventral to the putamen, is another part of the basal ganglia, the amygdala (p. 66, WA). Although it is located near the striatum it has different structure, connections and function. It is part of the limbic system, and is important for emotion and affective behavior. There is evidence that it is involved in depression, and in phobias.

The ventricles are cavities within the brain filled with cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The CSF percolates through the parenchyma of the brain, providing a consistent ionic milieu. The lateral ventricles seen at this level are curved spaces that follow the curve of the hemisphere down into the temporal lobe. On coronal sections, therefore, they are cut twice; once dorsally, just ventral to the corpus callosum, and again in the temporal lobe. The size and shape of the ventricles is a major diagnostic sign. Enlarged ventricles can mean either hydrocephalus, or more commonly, some degenerative condition that has resulted in loss of brain tissue. For example it is one of the usual signs of advanced Alzheimer's disease. The observation that the ventricles are often enlarged in schizophrenics is one of the indications that this condition is associated with structural abnormalities. The blood supply of the brain is of utmost importance for clinical practice. The arteries supplying the basal ganglia are of special interest, because they are often involved in strokes related to high blood pressure. As shown in figure 103 (page 190) of the DeArmond Atlas the lenticulostriate arteries that supply the striatum and internal capsule are “perforating” branches of the middle cerebral artery (see also pg 38 WA, p. 187 DA). You should be able to see some of these vessels in your brain slices, as small holes near the ventral surface of the brain. Blockage or rupture of one of these small vessels will not only affect the striatum, but will also interrupt axons running out of or into the cortex through the internal capsule. Compare your brain slices with those shown on the view boxes (stained for acetylcholinesterase). You can see that the caudate, putamen and accumbens are stained very darkly. This is because these structures contain a population of cells that use acetylcholine as their transmitter. These cells are interneurons, with their axons restricted to the basal ganglia. The globus pallidus is stained somewhat less darkly than the striatum. You may also be able to see that some, but not all of the amygdaloid nuclei are darkly stained. This is related to acetylcholine-containing axons that terminate in those amygdaloid nuclei.

Middle Sections Continue to cut another two or three slices, so that you have slices similar to those shown on pages 72, 74, 76, and 78 (WA), or 48, 50, 52, 54 (DA). There are several additional structures that were not seen more rostrally. On either side of the midline, medial to the internal capsule is the

thalamus. This large complex of many nuclei provides a synaptic relay for most inputs to the cerebral cortex from other parts of the brain. Different nuclei relay different sensory modalities (e.g. vision, somatic sensation, audition) or motor related activity (e.g. from the cerebellum) or other “association” activity to localized areas of the cerebral cortex. (p. 80-81, WA) The corpus striatum is pushed laterally by the thalamus, but the internal capsule still runs between the caudate nucleus, dorsomedially, and the putamen and globus pallidus ventrolaterally. Because the brainstem is at an angle to the cerebral hemisphere, the midbrain and lower brainstem are cut in the same sections as the thalamus (see planes of section in the inserts of pages 72, 74, 76, WA). Note that the internal capsule continues into the brainstem as the cerebral peduncle, carrying fibers from the cortex to the pontine nuclei, lower brainstem and the spinal cord. Dorsomedial to the cerebral peduncle is a dark, pigmented area, the substantia nigra (see pages 72 and 74, WA or pages 48, 50, DA). (As you will learn in a later lecture, the pigmented cells of the substantia nigra use dopamine as their neurotransmitter the pigment molecule is neuromelanin, which is a byproduct of the synthetic pathway for dopamine.) It is the loss of these cells, and their dopamine-containing axons which project to the striatum, that produces the motor and other deficits in Parkinson’s disease. Dorsomedial to the substantia nigra, and ventral to the thalamus, is a round, slightly reddish nucleus, the red nucleus (see pg. 74, WA, pg 50, DA). At the medial edge of the temporal lobe, ventral to the striatum, is a special area of the cerebral cortex that appears to be coiled up like a snail, or the horn of a big horn sheep, extending into the inferior or temporal horn of the lateral ventricle. This is the hippocampus (pg 68). It is just caudal to the amygdala, and is also part of the limbic system. It appears to be especially involved in memory processing. Bilateral lesions to the hippocampus, or the parahippocampal gyrus (pg. 70) around it, produce amnesia. Again, compare your brain slices with those shown on the view boxes . In addition to the caudate nucleus and putamen, note the staining of some of the nuclei of the thalamus. Can you see the lateral geniculate nucleus, visual relay nucleus of the thalamus? Also note the staining in the substantia nigra.

Posterior Slices

Continue making 1 cm slices through the caudal part of the hemisphere, to produce images like those on pages 78, 82, 86 (WA) or pages 56, 58, 60 (DA). These levels are through the caudal parts of the thalamus, and are caudal to the striatum. At the level of the posterior part of the lateral ventricle, note the continuity between the dorsal and ventral parts of the ventricle. At these levels, there is a marked concentration of a dark, flocculent material that protrudes into the ventricle (see pg. 82, WA, pg. 58, DA). This is the choroid plexus, which secretes CSF into the ventricles. It is formed in regions where the neural tissue thins, such that the vascular pia mater on the outside of the brain comes into contact with the ependyma that lines the ventricle, which forms a secretory epithelium. There is also choroid plexus in the third and fourth ventricles. In the most caudal sections (see page 86, WA; page 60, DA) try to identify the primary visual (or striate) cortex, which lies in the deep calcarine sulcus, and is marked by a thin white stripe through the middle layer of the cortex (the stria of Gennari). The blood supply to both the thalamus and the hippocampus is largely from arteries that also supply the choroid plexus. The anterior choroidal artery branches off the middle cerebral artery, and runs caudally along the optic tract (see page 38, WA; page 187, DA). In addition to supplying choroid plexus in the temporal horn of the lateral ventricle, it also supplies the optic tract and the hippocampus. The posterior choroidal arteries branch off the posterior cerebral artery, and run rostrally along the ventricle and the dorsal surface of the thalamus (see page 26, WA; page 189, DA). Horizontal slices With the whole brain that was in the previous lab, make a series of horizontal slices. Try to match the plane of section shown on pages 120-123 (WA), and page 15, DA. Identify the structures described on the coronal slices. Although all of the horizontal slices can be useful, particularly examine the middle slices that correspond to pages 120, 122, 124, 126, 128 (WA), and pages 24, 26 and 28 (DA). Note that the internal capsule forms a V in the horizontal plane. The anterior limb lies between the caudate nucleus, rostrally, and the putamen and globus pallidus, posteriorly and laterally. The posterior limb lies between the putamen and globus pallidus, and the thalamus, posteriorly and medially.

Before you leave this laboratory you should be able to identify the following: accumbens nucleus amygdala basal ganglia caudate nucleus cerebral peduncle choroid plexus corpus callosum globus pallidus hippocampus lateral ventricles lenticulostriate arteries parahippocampal gyrus putamen red nucleus substantia nigra thalamus

Questions: 1. 2. 3. What is the blood supply of the thalamus, basal ganglia and the internal capsule? What are the components of the basal ganglia? How are they related to the internal capsule? What structures are located at the medial edge of the temporal lobe? What is their relation to the inferior horn of the lateral ventricle? What is the choroid plexus? What is its relation to the ventricles?