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Cortical projections of the anterior thalamic nuclei in the cat

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Summary

Unilateral stereotaxic lesions were made in the anterior thalamic nuclei of the cat, and the ensuing terminal degeneration traced to the medial cortex by the methods of Nauta-Gygax and Fink-Heimer. The anterodorsal nucleus projects to the retrosplenial, postsubicular and presubicular areas. These projections appear to be organized in the dorsoventral direction. The posterior portion of the retrosplenial area receives no fibers from the anterodorsal nucleus. Fibers from this nucleus are distributed largely in layer I and in layer III and the deep portion of layer II of the posterior limbic cortex. The anteroventral nucleus sends fibers to the cingular area and parts of the retrosplenial, postsubicular and presubicular areas. These projections appear to be organized in a topical manner mediolaterally. When the lesion involves the parvocellular part of the nucleus, degeneration spreads to the lower lip, bank and fundus of the splenial sulcus. There appears to be an anteroposterior organization in the cortical projections of the anteroventral nucleus. Fibers from the anteroventral nucleus are distributed most profusely in layers IV and III and in the superficial portion of layer I of the posterior limbic cortex. The anteromedial nucleus sends fine fibers to the anterior limbic region and to the cingular, retrosplenial, postsubicular and presubicular areas. The cortical projections of the anteromedial nucleus appear to be topographically organized in the dorsoventral direction. Fibers from the anteromedial nucleus are distributed largely in cortical layers V and VI of the anterior and posterior limbic regions.

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Abbreviations

a:

anterior

AD:

anterodorsal nucleus

AM:

anteromedial nucleus

AMD:

dorsolateral part of anteromedial nucleus

AMV:

ventromedial part of anteromedial nucleus

AV:

anteroventral nucleus

AVM:

magnocellular part of anteroventral nucleus

AVP:

parvocellular part of anteroventral nucleus

CC:

corpus callosum

Cg:

cingular area

CM:

medial central nucleus

Il:

infralimbic area

LA:

anterior limbic region

LD:

dorsal lateral nucleus

MD:

dorsal medial nucleus

Of:

orbitofrontal region

p:

posterior

Pr:

presubicular area

Prag:

precentral agranular area

Ps:

postsubicular area

Pt:

paratenial nucleus

Pv:

anterior paraventricular nucleus

R:

reuniens nucleus

Rs:

retrosplenial area

Rt:

thalamic reticular nucleus

SC:

cruciate sulcus

SM:

stria medullaris

Sm:

submedial nucleus

SS:

splenial sulcus

VA:

ventral anterior nucleus

VL:

ventral lateral nucleus

VM:

ventral medial nucleus

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Niimi, M. Cortical projections of the anterior thalamic nuclei in the cat. Exp Brain Res 31, 403–416 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237298

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Key words

  • Anterior thalamic nuclei
  • Limbic cortex