Single subthalamic nucleus neurons project to both the globus pallidus and substantia nigra in rat

J Comp Neurol. 1980 Aug 15;192(4):751-68. doi: 10.1002/cne.901920409.


The organization of the major efferents of the rat subthalamic nucleus (STN) was investigated using a fluorescent retrograde double-labeling technique. Red fluorescent Evans Blue was injected into the globus pallidus and blue fluorescent DAPI-Primuline was injected into the substantia nigra. After retrograde axonal transport many double-labeled neurons were seen throughout the STN. Occasionaly double-labeled cells were seen in the lateral hypothalamus just medial to the STN and in a thin lateral strip of neurons extending laterally from the STN. Evidence for a mediolateral topography in both the STN-pallidal and STN-nigral pathways was obtained. The STN contains few, if any, local interneurons. Cell counts revealed that at least 94% of, and possibly all, STN neurons send axon collaterals to both the globus pallidus and substantia nigra.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Globus Pallidus / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Substantia Nigra / anatomy & histology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / anatomy & histology*