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Neurosci Lett. 1999 Sep 17;272(3):151-4.

Organization of the basal forebrain projection to the thalamus in rats.

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Institute for Biomedical Research, Department of Anatomy & Histology, University of Sydney, Australia.


We have examined the patterns of projections that exist between the different nuclei of the basal forebrain (BF) and the thalamus. Injections of biotinylated dextran were made into different nuclei of the BF (i.e. substantia innominata, nucleus basalis of Meynert, vertical and horizontal limbs of the diagonal band) of Sprague-Dawley rats using stereotaxic coordinates. Our results show that all of the above-mentioned BF nuclei have projections to the thalamus and that projections from different nuclei are rather similar. The bulk of the BF afferents terminate within the intralaminar, midline and mediodorsal nuclei of the dorsal thalamus and the zona incerta and reticular nucleus of the ventral thalamus. Very few terminals are ever seen in the other nuclei of the thalamus. Thus our results indicate that the BF targets particular thalamic nuclei, thereby being in a position to influence distinct thalamo-cortical pathways.

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