Basal-ganglia 'projections' to the prefrontal cortex of the primate

Cereb Cortex. 2002 Sep;12(9):926-35. doi: 10.1093/cercor/12.9.926.


We used retrograde transneuronal transport of the McIntyre-B strain of herpes simplex virus type 1 to examine the extent and organization of basal-ganglia-thalamocortical projections to five regions of prefrontal cortex in the cebus monkey (Cebus apella): medial and lateral area 9 (9m and 9l), dorsal and ventral area 46 (46d and 46v) and lateral area 12 (12l). All of these prefrontal areas were found to be targets of basal-ganglia output that originated in the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) and/or the pars reticulata of the substantia nigra (SNpr). Approximately one-third of the total volume of these nuclei was directed toward prefrontal cortex, a volume comparable to that directed at the cortical motor areas. The origins of the outputs to different prefrontal areas were topographically organized. Different portions of SNpr (the rostral and caudal thirds) projected to areas 9m and 12l. Similarly, different output nuclei (GPi and SNpr) projected to adjacent portions of the same cytoarchitectonic field (46d and 46v). Furthermore, the outputs to prefrontal areas were segregated from those to motor areas of cortex. Thus, basal-ganglia outputs to prefrontal cortex are both extensive and topographically organized, forming a rich anatomical substrate for basal-ganglia influences on the cognitive operations of the frontal lobe.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Basal Ganglia / virology
  • Cebus / physiology*
  • Cebus / virology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / virology