Development and Functional Organization of the Cranial Nerves in Lampreys.Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2019 03; 302(3):512-539.AR
Lampreys, together with hagfishes, are the only extant representatives of the oldest branch of vertebrates, the agnathans, which are the sister group of gnathostomes; therefore, studies on these animals are of great evolutionary significance. Lampreys exhibit a particular life cycle with remarkable changes in their behavior, concomitant, in part, with important modifications in the head and its musculature, which might influence the development of the cranial nerves. In this context, some cranial nerves such as the optic nerve and the ocular motor nerves, which develop slowly during an extremely long larval period lasting more than five years, have been more thoroughly investigated; however, much less experimental information is available about others, such as the facial or the hypoglossal nerves. In addition, the possible existence of a "true" accessory nerve in these animals is still a matter of conjecture. Although growing in last decades, investigations on the physiology of the lamprey cranial nerves is scanty. This review focuses on past and recent findings that have contributed to characterize the anatomical organization of the cranial nerves in lampreys, including their components and nuclei, and their relations in the brain; in addition, comments on their development and functional role are also included. Anat Rec, 302:512-539, 2019. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.