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Brain Struct Funct. 2014 Mar;219(2):607-30. doi: 10.1007/s00429-013-0522-x. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

The dorsal tectal longitudinal column (TLCd): a second longitudinal column in the paramedian region of the midbrain tectum.

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Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, Medical School, University of Salamanca, 37007, Salamanca, Spain.


The tectal longitudinal column (TLC) is a longitudinally oriented, long and narrow nucleus that spans the paramedian region of the midbrain tectum of a large variety of mammals (Saldaña et al. in J Neurosci 27:13108-13116, 2007). Recent analysis of the organization of this region revealed another novel nucleus located immediately dorsal, and parallel, to the TLC. Because the name "tectal longitudinal column" also seems appropriate for this novel nucleus, we suggest the TLC described in 2007 be renamed the "ventral tectal longitudinal column (TLCv)", and the newly discovered nucleus termed the "dorsal tectal longitudinal column (TLCd)". This work represents the first characterization of the rat TLCd. A constellation of anatomical techniques was used to demonstrate that the TLCd differs from its surrounding structures (TLCv and superior colliculus) cytoarchitecturally, myeloarchitecturally, neurochemically and hodologically. The distinct expression of vesicular amino acid transporters suggests that TLCd neurons are GABAergic. The TLCd receives major projections from various areas of the cerebral cortex (secondary visual mediomedial area, and granular and dysgranular retrosplenial cortices) and from the medial pretectal nucleus. It densely innervates the ipsilateral lateral posterior and laterodorsal nuclei of the thalamus. Thus, the TLCd is connected with vision-related neural centers. The TLCd may be unique as it constitutes the only known nucleus made of GABAergic neurons dedicated to providing massive inhibition to higher order thalamic nuclei of a specific sensory modality.

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