The axonal arborization of single nigrostriatal neurons in rats

Brain Res. 1999 Jul 10;834(1-2):228-32. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(99)01573-5.


Neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) were iontophoretically injected with biotin dextran and their anterogradely labeled axons individually reconstructed from serial sagittal sections. Most nigrostriatal axons travelled directly to the striatum, where they branched abundantly. Other axons arborized profusely in various extrastriatal structures, including the globus pallidus, the entopeduncular and subthalamic nuclei, and branched only sparsely in the striatum. This heterogeneous organization of the nigrostriatal projection allows single SNc neurons to influence differently striatal neurons and to act directly upon extrastriatal components of the basal ganglia via a highly patterned set of collaterals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Corpus Striatum / cytology
  • Corpus Striatum / ultrastructure*
  • Dextrans
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Globus Pallidus / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology
  • Substantia Nigra / ultrastructure*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / ultrastructure


  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • biotinylated dextran amine
  • Biotin