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Neuroscience. 1994 Jul;61(2):391-410.

Projections of the suprachiasmatic nuclei, subparaventricular zone and retrochiasmatic area in the golden hamster.

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Department of Psychiatry, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY 11794.


The patterns of projections from the hamster suprachiasmatic nucleus, retrochiasmatic area and subpraventricular hypothalamic zone were examined using anterograde tracing with the plant lectin, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin. Suprachiasmatic nucleus efferents comprise four major fiber groups: (i) an anterior projection to the ventral lateral septum, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and anterior paraventricular thalmus; (ii) a periventricular hypothalamic projection extending from the preoptic region to the premammillary area; (iii) a lateral thalamic projection to the intergeniculate leaflet and ventral lateral geniculate; and (iv) a posterior projection to the posterior paraventricular thalamus, precommissural nucleus and olivary pretectal nucleus. The retrochiasmatic area showed a similar projection pattern with several major exceptions. There are projections to endopiriform cortex, fundus striati, ventral pallidum, horizontal limb of the nucleus of the diagonal band and three separate routes to the amygdala. There are also projections laterally with fibers of the supraoptic commissures, which enter the superior thalamic radiation and innervate the caudal dorsomedial thalamic nuclei. Other fibers traveling with the commissures terminate in the ventral zona incerta. The subparaventricular zone projects to most targets of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, but not to the intergeniculate leaflet. There is a substantial input to both the subparaventricular zone and retrochiasmatic area from the suprachiasmatic nucleus, but little apparent reciprocity. There is extensive overlap of suprachiasmatic nuclei and retrochiasmatic efferents, and between retrochiasmatic and known medial amygdaloid efferents. The anatomical information is discussed in the context of circadian rhythm regulation, photoperiodism and chemosensory pathways controlling male hamster reproductive behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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