Thalamic projections of nucleus reticularis thalami of cat: a study using retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase and fluorescent tracers

J Comp Neurol. 1984 Nov 10;229(4):531-47. doi: 10.1002/cne.902290407.


The retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and fluorescent tracers after injections in various thalamic nuclei was used to investigate the relative density of retrogradely labeled cells in different districts of reticularis thalami (RE) nuclear complex of cat. The RE nucleus was left virtually free of labeling only after injections localized into the anterior nuclear group; in those experiments, heavy retrograde labeling was obtained in mammillary nuclei. The major targets of RE cells proved to be centralis lateralis-paracentralis (CL-PC) and centrum medianum-parafascicularis (CM-PF) intralaminar nuclei. The projections to various intralaminar nuclei mainly arise in the rostral pole and rostrolateral part of RE nucleus and are reciprocal to intralaminar-RE pathways disclosed by Jones ('75). The RE territories labeled following injections in relay and associational nuclei are more restricted and are located contiguously and slightly anteriorly to a given nucleus. There was a very small proportion of doubly labeled RE cells after injections with fluorescent tracers in different nuclei. This was not due to a technical failure since many double-labeled neurons were found in the same material in medial globus pallidum after thalamic and midbrain injections (see companion paper by Parent and Steriade, '84). We conclude that most individual RE axons arborize in only one thalamic nucleus or nuclear group. An additional finding was the existence of intralaminar-to-relay (CL-PC to VA-VL) projections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Cats
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / anatomy & histology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / cytology
  • Thalamus / anatomy & histology*
  • Thalamus / cytology


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Horseradish Peroxidase