The cortical projection of the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus in the rat: a retrograde fluorescent dye study

J Comp Neurol. 1984 Nov 1;229(3):419-31. doi: 10.1002/cne.902290310.


The fluorescent dye, retrograde labeling technique was used to determine the extent of the projection from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala to the neocortex in the rat. Each rat received a single cortical injection of fast blue, and in one-half of the animals, a subsequent injection of nuclear yellow was placed in a different cortical region. An analysis of the results demonstrates that the projection to the midline cortex arises in the medial neurons within the caudal two-thirds of the basolateral nucleus. This projection is directed to the anterior cingulate cortex, but not to the posterior cingulate cortex. The primary motor cortex receives a basolateral amygdala projection which originates from neurons in two areas, (1) the medial part of the anterior one-third of the nucleus and (2) the center (in the lateral to medial axis) portion of the posterior two-thirds of the nucleus. The latter neurons are situated lateral to the neurons projecting to the cingulate cortex. Somatosensory cortex injections label many fewer basolateral nucleus neurons than do motor cortex injections, but these neurons are located in a position similar to that of those labeled by motor cortex injections. Finally the gustatory cortex, which lies just dorsal to the rhinal sulcus, receives a basolateral projection from neurons in the lateroventral one-half of the basolateral nucleus. These results demonstrate that the basolateral nucleus gives rise to a rather widespread and topographically organized projection to the anterior half of the neocortex of the rat.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amidines
  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology*
  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Male
  • Rats


  • Amidines
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • diamidino compound 253-50
  • nuclear yellow