The extended amygdala and salt appetite

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 Jun 29:877:258-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb09272.x.


Both chemo- and mechanosensitive receptors are involved in detecting changes in the signals that reflect the status of body fluids and of blood pressure. These receptors are located in the systemic circulatory system and in the sensory circumventricular organs of the brain. Under conditions of body fluid deficit or of marked changes in fluid distribution, multiple inputs derived from these humoral and neural receptors converge on key areas of the brain where the information is integrated. The result of this central processing is the mobilization of homeostatic behaviors (thirst and salt appetite), hormone release, autonomic changes, and cardiovascular adjustments. This review discusses the current understanding of the nature and role of the central and systemic receptors involved in the facilitation and inhibition of thirst and salt appetite and on particular components of the central neural network that receive and process input derived from fluid- and cardiovascular-related sensory systems. Special attention is paid to the structures of the lamina terminalis, the area postrema, the lateral parabrachial nucleus, and their association with the central nucleus of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in controlling the behaviors that participate in maintaining body fluid and cardiovascular homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Body Fluids / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Sodium, Dietary*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology


  • Sodium, Dietary