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Brain Res. 1996 May 13;720(1-2):211-9.

Amygdala input to medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the rat: a light and electron microscope study.

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University Department of Pharmacology, Oxford, UK.


This paper describes the termination pattern and synaptic connectivity of the pathway from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC; areas 25, 32, and 24b) of the rat. Discrete injections of the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) were made in the BLA and detailed light microscopical observations made of the distribution of PHA-L labelled fibres and boutons in the mPFC. Labelled fibres were distributed in two tiers: predominantly within deep layer 1/layer 2 and also in layers 5/6. Fibre plexi in layers 2 and 5 were highly varicose. Electron microscopical examination of 120 labelled boutons in area 32 (60 in layer 2 and 60 in layer 5) indicated that 116 (97%) established asymmetrical synaptic contacts with dendritic spines and 4 (3%) were in synaptic contact with small dendritic shafts. No significant differences in target structures were found between layers 2 and 5. The results indicate that BLA input to mPFC in the rat predominantly innervates spine bearing dendrites in layers 2 and 5. This suggests that the neuronal operations of these processes are influenced by direct feedforward excitation from the BLA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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