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Parallel but separate inputs from limbic cortices to the mammillary bodies and anterior thalamic nuclei in the rat

Wright, Nicholas Fraser, Erichsen, Jonathan Thor, Vann, Seralynne Denise, O'Mara, Shane M. and Aggleton, John Patrick 2010. Parallel but separate inputs from limbic cortices to the mammillary bodies and anterior thalamic nuclei in the rat. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 518 (12) , pp. 2334-2354. 10.1002/cne.22336

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The proposal that separate populations of subicular cells provide the direct hippocampal projections to the mammillary bodies and anterior thalamic nuclei was tested by placing two different fluorescent tracers in these two sites. In spite of varying the injection locations within the mammillary bodies and within the three principal anterior thalamic nuclei and the lateral dorsal thalamic nucleus, the overall pattern of results remained consistent. Neurons projecting to the thalamus were localized to the deepest cell populations within the subiculum while neurons projecting to the mammillary bodies consisted of more superficially placed pyramidal cells within the subiculum. Even when these two cell populations become more intermingled, e.g., in parts of the intermediate subiculum, almost no individual cells were found to project to both diencephalic targets. In adjacent limbic areas, i.e., the retrosplenial cortex, postsubiculum, and entorhinal cortex, populations of cells that project to the anterior thalamic nuclei and mammillary bodies were completely segregated. This segregated pattern included afferents to those nuclei comprising the head-direction system. The sole exception was a handful of double-labeled cells, mainly confined to the ventral subiculum, that were only found after pairs of injections in the anteromedial thalamic nucleus and mammillary bodies. The projections to the anterior thalamic nuclei also had a septal-temporal gradient with relatively fewer cells projecting from the ventral (temporal) subiculum. These limbic projections to the mammillary bodies and anterior thalamus comprise a circuit that is vital for memory, within which the two major components could convey parallel, independent information.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: entorhinal cortex; fornix; head-direction system; hippocampus; lateral dorsal thalamic nucleus; retrosplenial cortex; subicular cortex
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0021-9967
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:42

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