The sensory innervation of the lacrimal gland (LG) in the cynomolgous monkey was studied using the retrograde wheat germ agglutinin/horsereadish peroxidase (WGA/HRP) tracer technique. A small solidified piece of WGA/HRP was implanted in the LG. Labelled sensory first-order neurons were found in the ipsilateral trigeminal ganglion (TG) and in the ipsilateral mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus (MTN). The distribution of labelled TG neurons was restricted to ophthalmic and maxillary ganglionic parts. Sensory innervation of LG by primary afferents is not only restricted to TG; an MTN involvement has also been found. This may imply that there is a central sensory role in the production and release of tears.

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Journal of Anatomy: molecular, cellular and experimental morphology
Department of Neuroscience

Baljet, M., & VanderWerf, F. (2005). Connections between the lacrimal gland and sensory trigeminal neurons: A WGA/HRP study in the cynomolgous monkey. Journal of Anatomy: molecular, cellular and experimental morphology, 206(3), 257–263. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7580.2005.00374.x