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Projections from the laterodorsal nucleus of the thalamus to the limbic and visual cortices in the rat.

The laterodorsal nucleus (LD) of the thalamus is an important source of thalamic afferents to the limbic cortex, but the topography and lamination of these projections has not been investigated in detail. Using the anterograde transport of Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin and Fluoro-Ruby, the present study demonstrates that in the rat, LD projects to infraradiata, precentral agranular, retrosplenial, visual (area 18b), subicular, and entorhinal cortices. Each subregion of LD has a distinct pattern of terminals within these cortical areas. The rostral part and the dorsalmost part of LD project densely to retrosplenial granular a (Rga) cortex, presubiculum and parasubiculum. Slightly more caudal parts of dorsal LD project primarily to the postsubiculum. More ventral parts of LD project primarily to retrosplenial dysgranular (Rdg) and retrosplenial granular b (Rgb) cortices. The projection of LD to area 18b originates from cells in the caudalmost part of LD. In each cortical region, LD terminals display distinct laminar patterns. In area 18b and the adjacent Rdg cortex, the LD terminal field is in layers I, III, and IV, but in both the Rgb and Rga cortices the terminal field is located predominantly in layer I. In the postsubiculum the LD terminals are distributed to layers I and III/IV and extend into superficial layer V; in the presubiculum and the parasubiculum the LD terminals are only in the deep layers (i.e., layers IV-VI). A small number of LD axons terminate in the deep layers (i.e., layers IV-VI) of the medial entorhinal cortex. These results indicate that each area of LD has a distinct projection to limbic and adjacent neocortex.

Pubmed ID: 1383292 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Afferent Pathways | Animals | Dextrans | Fluorescent Dyes | Limbic System | Male | Phytohemagglutinins | Rats | Rats, Sprague-Dawley | Rhodamines | Terminology as Topic | Thalamic Nuclei | Visual Cortex