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J Comp Neurol. 1984 Mar 1;223(3):347-67.

Organization of the efferent projections of the nucleus accumbens to pallidal, hypothalamic, and mesencephalic structures: a tracing and immunohistochemical study in the cat.


The efferent connections of the nucleus accumbens in the cat were studied with the aid of anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques. The description of the topography of these projections to pallidal, hypothalamic, and mesencephalic areas is preceded by a redefinition of the borders of the pallidal regions in the cat, using immunohistochemical criteria. In agreement with previous studies in rat and monkey substance-P-like and enkephalinlike immunoreactivity in the pallidum of the cat appears to be present in so-called "woolly fibers." Substance-P- and enkephalin-positive woolly fibers are differentially distributed in the internal and external segments of the globus pallidus, as traditionally defined, but are both present in the rostral part of the substantia innominata, here called the "ventral pallidum." Woolly fibers are also found in a number of other basal telencephalic structures and in the rostral part of the lateral hypothalamic area. Fibers from the medial part of the nucleus accumbens distribute to the ventral pallidum and to the just-mentioned area in the rostral part of the lateral hypothalamus, which most probably represents part of the internal segment of the globus pallidus. The medial nucleus accumbens projects in addition to the lateral septum, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the medial preoptic and hypothalamic areas, the ventral tegmental area, the retrorubral nucleus, the central superior nucleus, the nucleus tegmenti pedunculopontinus, and the central gray. The lateral part of the nucleus accumbens projects to the ventral pallidum, the subcommissural part of the globus pallidus, the entopeduncular nucleus, the substantia nigra, and the retrorubral nucleus.

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