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Brain Res Rev. 2010 Sep;64(1):14-103. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Feb 17.

Distinct patterns of neuronal inputs and outputs of the juxtaparaventricular and suprafornical regions of the lateral hypothalamic area in the male rat.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520, USA.


We have analyzed at high resolution the neuroanatomical connections of the juxtaparaventricular region of the lateral hypothalamic area (LHAjp); as a control and in comparison to this, we also performed a preliminary analysis of a nearby LHA region that is dorsal to the fornix, namely the LHA suprafornical region (LHAs). The connections of these LHA regions were revealed with a coinjection tract-tracing technique involving a retrograde (cholera toxin B subunit) and anterograde (Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin) tracer. The LHAjp and LHAs together connect with almost every major division of the cerebrum and cerebrospinal trunk, but their connection profiles are markedly different and distinct. In simple terms, the connections of the LHAjp indicate a possible primary role in the modulation of defensive behavior; for the LHAs, a role in the modulation of ingestive behavior is suggested. However, the relation of the LHAjp and LHAs to potential modulation of these behaviors, as indicated by their neuroanatomical connections, appears to be highly integrative as it includes each of the major functional divisions of the nervous system that together determine behavior, i.e., cognitive, state, sensory, and motor. Furthermore, although a primary role is indicated for each region with respect to a particular mode of behavior, intermode modulation of behavior is also indicated. In summary, the extrinsic connections of the LHAjp and LHAs (so far as we have described them) suggest that these regions have a profoundly integrative role in which they may participate in the orchestrated modulation of elaborate behavioral repertoires.

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