The origin of catecholaminergic inputs to the song control nucleus RA in canaries

Neuroreport. 2002 Apr 16;13(5):649-53. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200204160-00023.


Song control nuclei in oscines receive dense catecholaminergic inputs but their anatomical origin is poorly understood. We analyzed catecholaminergic inputs to the nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA) in canaries by retrograde tract-tracing combined with immunocytochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase. In both sexes, dopaminergic inputs to RA come mostly from the A1 1 (mesencephalic central gray) and A10 (area ventralis of Tsai) cell groups but the locus coeruleus and subcoeruleus (A6) also send noradrenergic projections to RA. No input originates in the hypothalamic and in the A5 to A1 catecholaminergic groups. These findings and previous work on the high vocal center (HVc) indicate that the two major nuclei of the motor pathway controlling song production (RA and HVc) receive catecholaminergic inputs of similar origins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / chemistry
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Canaries / physiology*
  • Catecholamines / analysis
  • Catecholamines / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / chemistry
  • Mesencephalon / physiology*
  • Telencephalon / chemistry
  • Telencephalon / physiology*
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology*


  • Catecholamines