Prosencephalic afferents to the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus

J Comp Neurol. 1985 Dec 8;242(2):161-81. doi: 10.1002/cne.902420203.


The afferent projections from the prosencephalon to the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD) were studied in the cat by use of the method of retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). Cortical and subcortical prosencephalic structures project bilaterally to the MD. The cortical afferents originate mainly in the ipsilateral prefrontal cortex. The premotor, prelimbic, anterior limbic, and insular agranular cortical areas are also origins of consistent projections to the MD. The motor cortex, insular granular area, and some other cortical association areas may be the source of cortical connections to the MD. The subcortical projections originate principally in the ipsilateral rostral part of the reticular thalamic nucleus and the rostral lateral hypothalamic area. Other parts of the hypothalamus, the most caudal parts of the thalamic reticular nucleus, the basal prosencephalic structures, the zona incerta, the claustrum, and the entopeduncular and subthalamic nuclei are also sources of projections to the MD. Distinct, but somewhat overlapping areas of the prosencephalon project to the three vertical subdivisions of MD (medial, intermediate, and lateral). The medial band of the MD receives a small number of prosencephalic projections; these arise mainly in the caudal and ventral parts of the prefrontal cortex. Cortical projections also arise in the infralimbic area, while subcortical projections originate in the medial part of the rostral reticular thalamic nucleus and lateral hypothalamic area. The intermediate band of the MD receives the largest number of fibers from the prosencephalon. These arise principally in the intermediate and dorsal part of the lateral and medial surface of the prefrontal cortex, the premotor cortex, and the prelimbic and agranular insular areas. Projections also originate in basal prosencephalic formations (preoptic area, Broca's diagonal band, substantia innominata, and olfactory tubercle), rostral reticular thalamic nucleus, and lateral hypothalamic area. A large number of prosencephalic structures also project to the lateral band of the MD. These are mainly the most dorsal and caudal parts of the lateral and medial surface of the prefrontal cortex, the premotor and motor cortices, and the prelimbic, anterior limbic, and insular areas. Projections arise also in the lateral rostral and caudal parts of the reticular thalamic nucleus, the zona incerta, the lateral and dorsal hypothalamic area, the claustrum, and the entopeduncular nucleus. These and previous results demonstrate a gradation in the afferent connections to the three subdivisions of the MD.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cats
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Limbic System / anatomy & histology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / cytology*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase