Projections from the rhomboid nucleus of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis: implications for cerebral hemisphere regulation of ingestive behaviors

J Comp Neurol. 2003 Sep 1;463(4):434-72. doi: 10.1002/cne.10758.


The basic organization of an exceptionally complex pattern of axonal projections from one distinct cell group of the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis, the rhomboid nucleus (BSTrh), was analyzed with the PHAL anterograde tract-tracing method in rats. Brain areas that receive a strong to moderate input from the BSTrh fall into nine general categories: central autonomic control network (central amygdalar nucleus, descending hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, parasubthalamic nucleus and dorsal lateral hypothalamic area, ventrolateral periaqueductal gray, lateral parabrachial nucleus and caudal nucleus of the solitary tract, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve, and salivatory nuclei), gustatory system (rostral nucleus of the solitary tract and medial parabrachial nucleus), neuroendocrine system (periventricular and paraventricular hypothalamic nuclei, hypothalamic visceromotor pattern generator network), orofaciopharyngeal motor control (rostral tip of the dorsal nucleus ambiguus, parvicellular reticular nucleus, retrorubral area, and lateral mesencephalic reticular nucleus), respiratory control (lateral nucleus of the solitary tract), locomotor or exploratory behavior control and reward prediction (nucleus accumbens, substantia innominata, and ventral tegmental area), ingestive behavior control (descending paraventricular nucleus and dorsal lateral hypothalamic area), thalamocortical feedback loops (medial-midline-intralaminar thalamus), and behavioral state control (dorsal raphé and locus coeruleus). Its pattern of axonal projections and its position in the basal telencephalon suggest that the BSTrh is part of a striatopallidal differentiation involved in modulating the expression of ingestive behaviors, although it may have other functions as well.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Histological Techniques
  • Male
  • Midline Thalamic Nuclei / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Septal Nuclei / anatomy & histology*