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The influence of the amygdala on the basal septum and preoptic area of the rat


Extracellular microelectrode recordings were made from single neurones in the medial preoptic area and basal septum of normal female rats anaesthetised with urethane and the effects of stimulation of the ipsilateral amygdala (AMY) was tested.

  1. 1.

    Quiescent cells were excited with latencies between 4 and > 40 msec with the majority being between 10 and 27 msec. Variable latency, changing latency and recruitment were observed and suggest that many pathways are oligo- or polysynaptic.

  2. 2.

    A minority of spontaneously active units (20.6%) were excited with latencies between 5 and 36 msec. The predominant initial response was inhibition (67.1%). The remaining 12.3% of neurones did not respond.

  3. 3.

    A predominantly positive complex field potential was associated with excitation, particularly of quiescent neurones.

  4. 4.

    Inhibitory responses were classified according to duration (short: 20–60 msec; long: 100–400 msec). All responses contained an inhibitory component. Responses were further described on the basis of presence and rhythmicity of post-inhibitory excitation.

  5. 5.

    The majority of action potentials evoked from quiescent neurones were of small amplitude (80–150 μV) and occurred in small groups. These characteristics and their occurrence at the onset of inhibition are consistent with the view that all or a proportion of them may be generated by inhibitory interneurones.

  6. 6.

    Only minor differences were observed between response characteristics evoked by stimulation of the corticomedial or basolateral AMY indicating that differential effects of these regions on adenohypophysial hormone secretion are determined at the septopreoptic level.

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Gardner, C.R., Phillips, S.W. The influence of the amygdala on the basal septum and preoptic area of the rat. Exp Brain Res 29, 249–263 (1977).

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Key words

  • Preoptic area
  • Basal septum
  • Amygdala
  • Rat