Histomorphological Study of The Pons and Medulla Oblongata of African Striped Group Squirrel (Xerus erythropus)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Veterinary Anatomy Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Nigeria

2 Department of Veterinary Anatomy Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Bayero University Kano, Nigeria


The study was undertaken to investigate the histological and functional relationships between the pons and Medulla Oblongata of African Striped Ground Squirrel (Xerus erythropus). Twenty (20) adult African striped ground squirrels were divided in to two groups: 10 males and 10 females. The ground squirrels were obtained from the surrounding villages of Zaria Local Government, Kaduna State Nigeria. Each Squirrel was euthanized using ketamine hydrochloride at dose 80mg/kg BW followed by gentle perfusion with neutral formal saline. A pair of scissors, chisel and scalpel blade was used to gently extract the brain (craniotomy). The extracted brain was fixed in bouins solution for 24hours and processed histologically. The pons and medulla are composed of conspicuous nucleus abducens, nucleus facialis and nucleus trigeminal. The nucleus facialis was found dorsal to the paramedian pontine reticular formation as group of large multipolar neurons. A conspicuous nucleus abducens was found as clusters of medium neurons located lateral to the trigeminal nucleus. In myelencephalon, the cuneate fascicles, intermediate sulcus and lateral sulcus were not evident on dorsal surface but there were grossly visible pyramids and olivary prominence on the ventral surface. Similarly, the nucleus olivary were prominent, nucleus cochlearis and spinal nucleus trigemini were well developed, nucleus hypoglossi, raphe obscurus, lateral reticular nucleus, gigantocellular reticular nucleus were all very distinct. In conclusion, the presence of distinct nuclei in the pons and medulla oblongata gives squirrels fine voluntary skills with good motor coordination and balance and good visual acuity for improved diurnal adaptation.


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