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Neurosci Lett. 1982 Sep 20;32(1):11-6.

Mesostriatal projections from ventral tegmentum and dorsal raphe: cells project ipsilaterally or contralaterally but not bilaterally.


The cells of origin of the brainstem projection to the caudate-putamen (CP) were examined in the albino rat by the use of two fluorescent retrograde tracers. Nuclear yellow was injected into the CP of one hemisphere and granular blue was injected into the contralateral CP. Retrogradely labeled cells were studied in the substantia nigra (SN), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and dorsal raphe (DR). The results confirm previous findings indicating the existence of contralateral projections from SN and VTA to the CP. Cells on both sides of the midline of the DR also project to either CP. Contralaterally projecting SN/VTA cells were located in areas of these nuclei which corresponded to the center of the ipsilaterally projecting cell region; the exact locations depended on the placement of the injection in the CP. In DR, contralaterally projecting cells were most often observed near the midline, although labeled cells were occasionally observed in the lateral wings of the DR. Cells labeled by contralateral injections were interdigitated with, but not identical to, cells labelled by ipsilateral injections. That is, contralaterally projecting cells and ipsilaterally projecting cells constituted separate populations within the SN, VTA and DR.

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