Compartmental origins of striatal efferent projections in the cat

Neuroscience. 1989;32(2):297-321. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(89)90080-8.


Injections of the retrograde tracer, wheat germ agglutinated-horseradish peroxidase were placed in the substantia nigra, in adjoining dopamine-containing cell groups A8 and A10, and in the internal and external parts of the pallidal complex of 20 cats in order to identify the compartmental origins of striatal efferent projections to the pallidum and midbrain. Patterns of retrograde cell-labeling in the caudate nucleus were analysed with respect to its striosomal architecture as detected in sections stained for acetylcholinesterase. Where possible, a similar compartmental analysis of cell-labeling in the putamen was also carried out. In 15 cats anterograde labeling in the striatum was studied in the sections stained with wheat germ agglutinated-horseradish peroxidase or in autoradiographically treated sections from cases in which [35S]methionine was mixed with the wheat germ agglutinated-horseradish peroxidase in the injection solution. Predominant labeling of projection neurons lying in striosomes (usually with some labeling of dorsomedial matrix neurons) occurred in a subset of the cases of nigral injection, including all cases (n = 9) in which the injection sites were centered in the densocellular zone of the substantia nigra pars compacta [Jiménez-Castellanos J. and Graybiel A. M. (1987) Neuroscience 23, 223-242.] Dense labeling of neurons in the extrastriosomal matrix, with at most sparse labeling of striosomal neurons, occurred in all cases of pallidal injection (n = 8) and in two cases of nigral injection in which the injection sites were lateral and anterior to the densocellular zone. Mixed labeling of striosomal and matrical neurons occurred in a third group of cases in which the injection sites were lateral to the densocellular zone but close to it. In a single case with an injection site situated in the pars lateralis of the substantia nigra, there was preferential labeling of striosomal neurons in the caudal caudate nucleus but widespread labeling of neurons in both striosomes and matrix in the putamen. A second type of compartmental ordering of projection neurons was found in the extrastriosomal matrix of the striatum. In cases of pallidal and nigral injection, there were gaps in cell labeling that did not match striosomes precisely, and often clusters of labeled cells appeared that did not correspond to acetylcholinesterase-poor striosomes but, instead, to patches of matrix. Especially prominent were clusters beside striosomes. There was a topographic ordering of striatal projection neurons both in the striosomes and in the extrastriosomal matrix according to their dorsoventral and latitudinal positions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats / anatomy & histology*
  • Corpus Striatum / anatomy & histology*
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Globus Pallidus / cytology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase