The rat bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (BST) is an important part of the cerebral nuclei, both structurally and functionally. However, the literature is rather scarce and more importantly, often contradictory. In this paper we review the literature related to neuron populations reported in different rat BST parts, and to a set of more than 50 expressed molecules. The information related to neuron populations and molecules detected in the BST was expertly collated manually in a publicly available neuroinformatics system, the Brain Architecture Knowledge Management System (BAMS; http://brancusi.usc.edu/bkms). Using the tools implemented in BAMS, we organized the collated information, and further analyzed it statistically. The result of our analysis over the set of >50 expressed molecules confirms the BST parcellation scheme proposed by Swanson in 2004, with two exceptions. We present and discuss these results, and propose refined parcellation ventrally in the BST. We also review and discuss the presence of cholinergic neurons in the BST, and of neuron populations that express serotonin receptors. This review is one of the most comprehensive for the rat BST published in the literature, and it was possible only by using neuroinformatics tools.
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