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Vis Neurosci. 1998 Mar-Apr;15(2):349-58.

The thalamo-hyperstriatal system is established by the time of hatching in chicks (Gallus gallus): a cholera toxin B subunit study.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92037-0608, USA.


Connections of the thalamo-hyperstriatal system of hatchling chicks were investigated using multiple injections of cholera toxin B subunit (CTb) in the wulst. In the diencephalon, cells with CTb-like immunoreactivity (CTb-LI) were seen bilaterally in n. dorsolateralis anterior thalami, pars lateralis dorsalis and ventralis, n. dorsolateralis anterior thalami, pars magnocellularis, and pars lateralis rostralis. Within this complex, more CTb-LI cells were observed in the ventral portions of the ipsilateral side, whereas more labeled cells were found in the dorsolateral portions of the contralateral side. Moreover, CTb-LI cells were seen bilaterally in n. superficialis magnocellularis. In the nonvisual thalamic structures, numerous CTb-LI cells were seen in n. dorsolateralis anterior thalami, pars medialis and n. dorsolateralis posterior thalami. In the ventral thalamus, intense CTb-LI fibers/terminals were present in the external half of the external laminae of n. geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis. Moderate to minor concentrations of fibrous labeling were found in n. intercalatus thalami and n. ventrolateral thalami. Moreover, efferent projections of the wulst were evident in the most ventral half of the optic tectum and the pretectal areas. The latter included n. pretectalis medialis, n. spiriformis medialis, n. principalis precommissuralis, n. lentiformis mesencephali, pars magnocellularis, and n. superficialis synecephali. Also, CTb-LI fibers were seen in n. basal optic root. The present study provides strong evidence that neuronal connections of the thalamo-hyperstriatal system are well established by the time of hatching. Additionally, efferent projections from the wulst to the diencephalic, mesencephalic, and pretectal structures are evident.

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