Topographic organization of neurons in the acoustic thalamus that project to the amygdala

J Neurosci. 1990 Apr;10(4):1043-54. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.10-04-01043.1990.


Projections from the posterior thalamus to the amygdala have been implicated in the processing of the emotional significance of acoustic stimuli. The aim of the present studies was to determine which areas of the amygdala receive afferents from posterior thalamic structures that, in turn, receive afferents (presumably acoustic afferents) from the inferior colliculus. Projections from the posterior thalamus to the amygdala and striatum were examined in rats using anterograde and retrograde axonal transport techniques. Following injections of WGA-HRP into the posterior thalamic areas [including the medial division of the medial geniculate body, the posterior intralaminar nucleus (PIN) and the medial posterior complex (POM)], anterograde transport was seen in the lateral (AL), central (ACE), medial (AM), and basomedial (ABM) nuclei of the amygdala and in the amygdalostriatal transition area (AST) and posterior caudate putamen (CPU). Injection of WGA-HRP into each anterogradely labeled area produced retrograde transport to the posterior thalamus, but the pattern of transport varied with the site of the injection. Injections in AL and AST produced retrograde transport to neurons in the medial division of the medial geniculate body (MGM), PIN, suprageniculate nucleus (SG) and, to a lesser extent, the lateral posterior nucleus (LP). Injections of the ACE, AM, and ABM, in contrast, only labeled cells in POM. While the MGM, PIN, and SG each receive afferents from the inferior colliculus, POM does not. AL and AST, therefore, receive inputs from thalamic areas that, in turn, receive inputs from the inferior colliculus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / cytology
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology
  • Male
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synaptic Transmission*
  • Thalamus / cytology
  • Thalamus / physiology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase