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Subiculum – BNST structural connectivity in humans and macaques

Berry, Samuel C., Lawrence, Andrew D. ORCID:, Lancaster, Thomas M., Casella, Chiara, Aggleton, John P. ORCID: and Postans, Mark 2022. Subiculum – BNST structural connectivity in humans and macaques. NeuroImage 253 , 119096. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119096

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Invasive tract-tracing studies in rodents implicate a direct connection between the subiculum and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) as a key component of neural pathways mediating hippocampal regulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. A clear characterisation of the connections linking the subiculum and BNST in humans and non-human primates is lacking. To address this, we first delineated the projections from the subiculum to the BNST using anterograde tracers injected into macaque monkeys, revealing evidence for a monosynaptic subiculum-BNST projection involving the fornix. Second, we used in vivo diffusion MRI tractography in macaques and humans to demonstrate substantial subiculum complex connectivity to the BNST in both species. This connection was primarily carried by the fornix, with additional connectivity via the amygdala, consistent with rodent anatomy. Third, utilising the twin-based nature of our human sample, we found that microstructural properties of these tracts were moderately heritable (h2 ∼ 0.5). In a final analysis, we found no evidence of any significant association between subiculum complex-BNST tract microstructure and indices of perceived stress/dispositional negativity and alcohol use, derived from principal component analysis decomposition of self-report data. Our findings address a key translational gap in our knowledge of the neurocircuitry regulating stress.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 11 March 2022
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 15:52

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