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Neuroscience. 1996 Jul;73(2):335-57.

The subthalamic nucleus and the external pallidum: two tightly interconnected structures that control the output of the basal ganglia in the monkey.

Author information

1
Centre de Recherche en Neurobiologie, Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to elucidate the organization of the interconnections between the subthalamic nucleus and the two segments of the globus pallidus in squirrel monkeys. By making small deposits of tracers in the two segments of the globus pallidus, we demonstrate that interconnected neurons of the subthalamic nucleus and the external pallidum innervate, via axon collaterals, the same population of neurons in the internal pallidum. Furthermore, this organizational principle holds true for different functional regions of the pallidum and the subthalamic nucleus. Injections of biotinylated dextran amine were made in the dorsal (associative), ventrolateral (sensorimotor) and rostromedial (limbic) regions of the internal pallidum. Following these injections, there were rich clusters of labelled terminals in register with retrogradely labelled perikarya in related functional regions of the subthalamic nucleus and the external pallidum. At the electron microscopic level, the majority of labelled terminals in the external pallidum displayed the ultrastructural features of boutons from the subthalamic nucleus and were non-immunoreactive for GABA, whereas those in the subthalamic nucleus resembled terminals from the external pallidum and displayed GABA immunoreactivity. In both cases, the synaptic targets of the labelled terminals included labelled neurons. These observations suggest that the biotinylated dextran amine injected in the internal globus pallidus was transported retrogradely to perikarya in the external pallidum and the subthalamic nucleus and then anterogradely, via axon collaterals, to the subthalamic nucleus and the external pallidum respectively. This suggestion was supported by injections of biotinylated dextran amine or Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin in regions of the external pallidum that corresponded to those containing retrogradely labelled cells following injections in the internal pallidum. The clusters of labelled cells and varicosities that resulted from these injections were found in regions of the subthalamic nucleus similar to those labelled following injections in the internal globus pallidus. Furthermore, terminals from the external pallidum and the subthalamic nucleus converged on the same regions in the internal globus pallidus. The results of the present tracing study define the basic network underlying the interconnections between the external segment of the globus pallidus and the subthalamic nucleus, and their connections with the output neurons of the basal ganglia in primates.

PMID:
8783253
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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