Glutamatergic projection from the nucleus incertus to the septohippocampal system

Neurosci Lett. 2012 May 31;517(2):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.04.014. Epub 2012 Apr 12.


Recent findings support a relevant role of the nucleus incertus in the control of the hippocampal activity through the modulation of theta rhythm. Previous studies from our group have shown that this nucleus is a critical relay between reticularis pontis oralis and the medial septum/diagonal band, regarded as the main activator and the pacemaker of the hippocampal oscillations, respectively. Besides, the nucleus incertus is highly linked to activated states related to the arousal response. The neurotransmission of the nucleus incertus, however, remains uncertain. Only GABA and the neuromodulator relaxin 3 are usually considered to be involved in its contribution to the septohippocampal system. In this work, we have analyzed the existence of an excitatory projection from the nucleus incertus to the medial septum. We have found a group of glutamatergic neurons in the nucleus incertus projecting to the medial septum. Moreover, we were able to describe a segregated distribution of calbindin and calretinin neurons. While calretinin expression was restricted to the nucleus incertus pars compacta, calbindin positive neurons where observed both in the pars dissipata and the pars compacta of the nucleus. The present work provides innovative data supporting an excitatory component in the pontoseptal pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Diagonal Band of Broca / physiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Glutamates / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Pons / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reticular Formation / physiology
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Septum of Brain / physiology*
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 2 / metabolism


  • Calb2 protein, rat
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Glutamates
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Slc17a6 protein, rat
  • Vesicular Glutamate Transport Protein 2