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Quantitative studies on the supraoptic nucleus in the rat. II. Afferent fiber connections

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A quantitative electron microscopic study of synaptic terminal degeneration was performed in the supraoptic nucleus (NSO) after a variety of major transections or ablations, destroying or interrupting in different combinations the afferent pathways known from earlier and own light microscopic degeneration studies. Solutions of a set of equations, expressing the percentage degenerations in synaptic profiles after different combinations in which the several pathways are interrupted by the various interferences, enabled the authors to give the following percentage numbers for afferent synapses from different sources.

32.7% of supraoptic afferents originate from the brain stem probably representing the monoaminergic innervation of this nucleus. The medial basal hypothalamus (21.0%), amygdala (13.5%), septum (13.5%), hippocampus (8.5%) and olfactory tubercle and further rostral cortical region (17.0%) are the other main sites of origin of supraoptic nucleus afferents. There are no supraoptic afferents from the optic nerve, superior cervical ganglion or fimbria hippocampi.

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nucleus accumbens


nucleus amygdaloideus basalis


nucleus amygdaloideus centralis


nucleus amygdaloideus lateralis


nucleus amygdaloideus medialis


area tegmenti ventralis (Tsai)




commissura anterior


corpus callosum


commissura fornicvis ventralis


chiasma opticum


commissura posterior


nucleus tractus diagnolis


nucleus dorsomedialis


decussationes supraoptica


columna fornicis


fimbria hippocampi


fasciculus longitudinalis medialis


fornix praecommissuralis


fornix superior


globus pallidus


gyrus dentatus




capsula interna


nucleus interpeduncularis


lemniscus medialis


medial forebrain bundle (MFB)


nucleus medialis thalami, pars medialis


nucleus arcuatus


nucleus rhomboideus


nucleus reuniens


nucleus ruber


stria medullaris thalami


nucleus dorsalis septi


nucleus fimbrialis septi


substantia grisea centralis


nucleus lateralis septi


nucleus medialis septi


substantia nigra


nucleus interstitialis striae terminalis


tractus olfactorius lateralis


tractus diagonalis (Broca)


tractus opticus


tractus striohypothalamicus


tuberculum olfactorium


nucleus ventromedialis


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Záborszky, L., Léránth, C., Makara, G.B. et al. Quantitative studies on the supraoptic nucleus in the rat. II. Afferent fiber connections. Exp Brain Res 22, 525–540 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00237352

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Key words

  • Supraoptic nucleus
  • Quantitative electron microscopy
  • Afferent fiber connections
  • Rat