An experimental study of the ventral striatum of the golden hamster. II. Neuronal connections of the olfactory tubercle

J Comp Neurol. 1980 May 15;191(2):193-212. doi: 10.1002/cne.901910204.


As part of an experimental study of the ventral striatum, the horseradish peroxidase (HRP) method was used to examine the afferent and efferent neuronal connections of the olfactory tubercle. Following iontophoretic applications or hydraulic injections of HRP in the tubercle, neurons labeled by retrograde transport of HRP were observed ipsilaterally in the telencephalon in the main olfactory bulb, the medial, lateral, ventral, and posterior divisions of the anterior olfactory nucleus, and in the orbital, ventral, and posterior agranular insular, primary olfactory, perirhinal, and entorhinal cortices. Labeled cells were also present in the basolateral, basomedial, anterior cortical, and posterolateral cortical amygdaloid nuclei, and bilaterally in the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract. In the diencephalon, ipsilateral HRP-containing neurons were observed in the midline nuclei paraventricularis, parataenialis, and reuniens, and in the parafascicular intralaminar nucleus. Retrograde labeling was present in the ipsilateral brainstem in cells of the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra, and dorsal raphe. Many of the above projections to the tubercle were found to be topographically organized. Anterograde axonal transport of HRP from the olfactory tubercle labeled terminal fields ipsilaterally in all parts of the anterior olfactory nucleus, in the ventral pallidum, and in the substantia nigra, pars reticulata. Contralaterally, terminal fields were present in the dorsal and lateral divisions of the anterior olfactory nucleus. The projections to the tubercle from the orbital, ventral, and posterior agranular insular, and perirhinal neocortices, intralaminar thalamus, and dopamine-containing areas of the ventral mesencephalon are analogous to the connections of the caudatoputamen, as are the efferents from the tubercle to the ventral globus pallidus and substantia nigra. These connections substantiate the recent suggestion that the olfactory tubercle is a striatal structure, and provide support for the ventral striatal concept. In the present study of the olfactory tubercle, and in the first study in this series on the nucleus accumbens, the ventral striatum was found to receive projections from a number of limbic system structures, including the main olfactory bulb, anterior olfactory nucleus, amygdala, hippocampus, and subiculum, and the entorhinal and primary olfactory cortices. These findings suggest that the ventral striatum is concerned with integrating limbic information into the striatal system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Corpus Striatum / anatomy & histology*
  • Cricetinae
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Limbic System / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Mesocricetus
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Olfactory Bulb / anatomy & histology*
  • Olfactory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / anatomy & histology


  • Horseradish Peroxidase