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J Chem Neuroanat. 1998 Sep;15(3):173-85.

Anatomical interactions between the central amygdaloid nucleus and the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of the rat: a dual tract-tracing analysis.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Lexington 40536-0084, USA.


Axonal connections between the amygdala and the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus were examined by combined anterograde-retrograde tract tracing. Iontophoretic injections of the retrograde tracer Fluorogold were placed in the paraventricular nucleus, and the anterograde tracer PHA-L in the ipsilateral central or medial amygdaloid nuclei. Single and double-label immunohistochemistry were used to detect tracers. Single label anterograde and retrograde tracing suggest limited evidence for direct connections between the central or medial amygdala and the paraventricular nucleus. In general, scattered PHA-L-positive terminals were seen in autonomic subdivisions of the paraventricular nucleus (lateral parvocellular, dorsal parvocellular and ventral medial parvocellular subnuclei) following central or medial amygdaloid nucleus injection. Double-label studies indicate that central and medial amygdaloid nucleus efferents contact paraventricular nucleus-projecting cells in several forebrain nuclei. In the case of central nucleus injections, PHA-L positive fibers occasionally contacted Fluorogold-labeled neurons in the anteromedial, ventromedial and preoptic subnuclei of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Overall, such contacts were quite rare, and did not occur in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis regions showing greatest innervation by the central amygdaloid nucleus. In contrast, medial amygdala injections resulted in a significantly greater overlap of PHA-L labeling and Fluorogold-labeled neurons, with axosomatic appositions observed in medial divisions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, anterior hypothalamic area and preoptic area. The results provide anatomical evidence that a substantial proportion of amygdaloid connections with hypophysiotrophic paraventricular nucleus neurons are likely multisynaptic, relaying in different subregions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and hypothalamus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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