Distribution and efferent projections of corticotropin-releasing factor-like immunoreactivity in the rat amygdaloid complex

Brain Res. 1986 Sep 24;382(2):213-38. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(86)91332-6.


Using cobalt-enhanced immunohistochemistry, the tracing of retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and experimental manipulations, a widespread localization of corticotropin-releasing factor-like immunoreactive (CRFI) structures in the rat amygdaloid complex, and CRFI-containing pathways from the amygdala to the lower brainstem, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (bst) and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) have been demonstrated. By means of cobalt-enhanced immunohistochemistry, CRFI cells were detected in almost all the regions of the amygdala, including the central amygdaloid nucleus (Ce), basolateral amygdaloid nucleus (B1), intra-amygdaloid bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (Abst), medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me), amygdalohippocampal area (Ahi), posterior cortical amygdaloid nucleus (Aco), lateral amygdaloid nucleus (La), anterior amygdaloid area (AAA) and basomedial amygdaloid nucleus (Bm). Neural processes with CRFI were found in all of the above areas. The greatest density of CRFI fibres was observed in the Ce, the Me and Ahi. Unilateral lesions located in the Ce and adjacent areas caused an ipsilateral decrease in CRFI fibre number in the lateral hypothalamic area (LH), mesencephalic reticular formation (RF), dorsal (Dpb) and ventral (Vpb) parabrachial nuclei, mesencephalic nucleus of the trigeminal nerve (MeV) and in the lateral division of the bst (bstl). In addition, ipsilateral CRFI fibres decreased in number in the core and shell of the VMH after unilateral lesions of the corticomedial amygdala (CoM) and ventral subiculum (S). These findings suggest that the CRFI cells in the Ce and adjacent areas innervate the Dpb, Vpb and MeV through the LH and RF; the CRFI fibres in the bstl are supplied by the Ce and adjacent areas; and the CoM and S give rise to the CRFI fibres to the VMH. The distribution of retrogradely transported HRP has confirmed these projections. Furthermore, combined HRP and immunohistochemical staining has demonstrated double labeled cells in the Ce following HRP injection into the Dpb, Vpb, MeV and bstl. This provides direct evidence for the amygdalofugal CRF-containing projections to the lower brainstem and bstl. Double-labeled cells were not seen in the CoM and S after HRP injection into the VMH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology*
  • Amygdala / cytology
  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / analysis*
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Efferent Pathways / cytology
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Immune Sera
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Immune Sera
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Horseradish Peroxidase