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J Comp Neurol. 1988 Dec 22;278(4):615-31.

Neuroanatomical studies of the nigrotectal projection in the cat.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


We have used retrograde and anterograde transport methods to analyze the nigrotectal projection in the cat. This projection arises from both pars reticulata (SNr) and pars lateralis (SNl) and distributes to all cellular laminae of the superior colliculus. This extensive nigrotectal innervation is not a simple, single circuit. Rather it appears to consist of several parallel channels, with each taking origin from a particular zone of the substantia nigra and terminating within specific collicular laminae and/or sublaminae. For instance, only neurons within the SNl project to the stratum griseum superficiale; such neurons also project diffusely to all other tectal laminae. Cells in the most lateral portion of the SNr project to a horizontal, patchy tier in the interface region between the stratum opticum and the stratum griseum intermediate (SGI). Finally, more medially placed neurons within the SNr project to a horizontal patchy tier within the middle of the SGI and to a wedge-shaped locus in the stratum griseum profundum. Our findings provide an anatomical substrate for electrophysiological data (Karabelas and Moschovakis: J. Comp. Neurol. 239: 309-329, '85) showing a widespread distribution of nigrorecipient tectal neurons in the cat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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