Afferent connections of the subthalamic nucleus: a combined retrograde and anterograde horseradish peroxidase study in the rat

Brain Res. 1990 Apr 9;513(1):43-59. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(90)91087-w.


A comprehensive characterization of the afferent connections of the subthalamic nucleus of Luys (STN) is a necessary step in the unraveling of extrapyramidal mechanisms. In the present study, the STN afferents in the rat were systematically investigated with the aid of retrograde and anterograde horseradish peroxidase tracer techniques. The results indicate that, besides a massive input from the dorsal pallidum, the STN receives substantial projections from several districts of the cerebral cortex (the medial division of the prefrontal cortex, the first motor and primary somatosensory areas, and the granular insular territory), the ventral pallidum, the parafascicular nucleus of the thalamus and the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, as well as a modest innervation from the dorsal raphe nucleus. In spite of the fact that many additional structures were found to contain retrogradely labeled neurons after tracer injections in the STN, no other projection to the latter nucleus could be effectively established in our anterograde experimental series.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Globus Pallidus / cytology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Rats


  • Horseradish Peroxidase