Brain-wide mapping of presynaptic inputs to basolateral amygdala neurons

J Comp Neurol. 2021 Aug 1;529(11):3062-3075. doi: 10.1002/cne.25149. Epub 2021 Apr 8.


The basolateral amygdala (BLA), a region critical for emotional processing, is the limbic hub that is connected with various brain regions. BLA neurons are classified into different subtypes that exhibit differential projection patterns and mediate distinct emotional behaviors; however, little is known about their presynaptic input patterns. In this study, we employed projection-specific monosynaptic rabies virus tracing to identify the direct monosynaptic inputs to BLA subtypes. We found that each neuronal subtype receives long-range projection input from specific brain regions. In contrast to their specific axonal projection patterns, all BLA neuronal subtypes exhibited relatively similar input patterns. This anatomical organization supports the idea that the BLA is a central integrator that associates sensory information in different modalities with valence and sends associative information to behaviorally relevant brain regions.

Keywords: amygdala; monosynaptic; neuroanatomy; pseudotyped rabies virus; viral tracing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basolateral Nuclear Complex / chemistry
  • Basolateral Nuclear Complex / cytology
  • Basolateral Nuclear Complex / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / chemistry
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology*