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J Comp Neurol. 1993 Jun 1;332(1):1-20.

Ventral subicular interaction with the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus: evidence for a relay in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

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Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0720.


The axonal projections of the ventral subiculum to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) were examined in the rat with the anterograde neuronal tracer Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L). Axons originating in the ventral subiculum coursed to the BST through either the fimbria-fornix, or a pathway involving the stria terminalis via the amygdala. Ventral subicular axons gave rise to dense terminal networks that were preferentially distributed in medial and ventral subregions of the BST. The distribution of subicular fibers and terminals was examined in relation to BST neurons that project to the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). In these cases, discrete iontophoretic injections of the retrograde tracer Fluoro-gold were made in the PVN, with PHA-L delivered to the ipsilateral ventral subiculum. An immunocytochemical double-labeling protocol was then employed for the simultaneous detection of PHA-L and Fluoro-gold, and provided light microscopic evidence for subicular input to PVN-projecting cells located within the BST. In a second series of experiments, the gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)ergic nature of the BST was examined by in situ hybridization histochemistry for detection of transcripts encoding GAD67 mRNA. The studies revealed that a high proportion of BST neurons express GAD67 transcripts. Also, experiments combining Fluoro-gold tracing with GAD67 in situ hybridization suggested that a proportion of PVN-projecting neurons in the BST are GABAergic. Taken together, the results of these sets of studies suggest that the inhibitory influences of the hippocampus on the PVN might be relayed through specific portions of the BST. These findings may have important implications for our understanding of the neural regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

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