Projections of the parabrachial nucleus in the pigeon (Columba livia)

J Comp Neurol. 1990 Mar 22;293(4):499-523. doi: 10.1002/cne.902930402.


The ascending and descending projections of the parabrachial nuclear complex in the pigeon have been charted with autoradiographic and histochemical (WGA-HRP) techniques. The ascending projections originate from a group of subnuclei surrounding various components of the brachium conjunctivum, namely, the superficial lateral, dorsolateral, dorsomedial, and ventromedial subnuclei. The projections are predominantly ipsilateral and travel in the quintofrontal tract. They are primarily to the medial and lateral hypothalamus (including the periventricular nucleus and the strata cellulare internum and externum), certain dorsal thalamic nuclei, the nucleus of the pallial commissure, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the ventral paleostriatum, the olfactory tubercle, the nucleus accumbens, and a dorsolateral nucleus of the posterior archistriatum. There are weaker or more diffuse projections to the rostral locus coeruleus (cell group A8), the compact portion of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, the central grey and intercollicular region, the ventral area of Tsai, the medial spiriform nucleus, the nucleus subrotundus, the anterior preoptic area, and the diagonal band of Broca. The parabrachial subnuclei have partially differential projections to these targets, some of which also receive projections from the nucleus of the solitary tract (Arends, Wild, and Zeigler: J. Comp. Neurol. 278:405-429, '88). Most of the targets, particularly those in the basal forebrain (viz., the periventricular nucleus and the strata cellulare internum and externum of the hypothalamus, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and its lateral extension into the ventral paleostriatum, which may be comparable with the substantia innominata), have reciprocal connections with the parabrachial and solitary tract subnuclei and therefore may be said to compose parts of a "visceral forebrain system" analogous to that described in the rat (Van der Kooy et al: J. Comp. Neurol. 224:1-24, '84). The descending projections to the lower brainstem arise in large part from a ventrolateral subnucleus that may be comparable with the Kölliker-Fuse nucleus of mammals. They are mainly to the ventrolateral medulla, nucleus ambiguus, and massively to the hypoglossal nucleus, particularly its tracheosyringeal portion. These projections are therefore likely to be importantly involved in the control of vocalization and respiration (Wild and Arends: Brain Res. 407:191-194, '87). Some of these results have been presented in abstract form (Wild, Arends, and Zeigler: Soc. Neurosci. Abst. 13:308, '87).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Columbidae / anatomy & histology*
  • Columbidae / physiology
  • Female
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Pons / cytology*
  • Pons / physiology
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase