Projections from the anterodorsal and anteroventral nucleus of the thalamus to the limbic cortex in the rat

J Comp Neurol. 1995 Aug 7;358(4):584-604. doi: 10.1002/cne.903580411.


The present study characterized the projections of the anterodorsal (AD) and the anteroventral (AV) thalamic nuclei to the limbic cortex. Both AD and AV project to the full extent of the retrosplenial granular cortex in a topographic pattern. Neurons in caudal parts of both nuclei project to rostral retrosplenial cortex, and neurons in rostral parts of both nuclei project to caudal retrosplenial cortex. Within AV, the magnocellular neurons project primarily to the retrosplenial granular a cortex, whereas the parvicellular neurons project mainly to the retrosplenial granular b cortex. AD projections to retrosplenial cortex terminate in very different patterns than do AV projections: The AD projection terminates with equal density in layers I, III, and IV of the retrosplenial granular cortex, whereas, in contrast, the AV projections terminate very densely in layer Ia and less densely in layer IV. Further, both AD and AV project densely to the postsubicular, presubicular, and parasubicular cortices and lightly to the entorhinal (only the most caudal part) cortex and to the subiculum proper (only the most septal part). Rostral parts of AD project equally to all three subicular cortices, whereas neurons in caudal AD project primarily to the postsubicular cortex. Compared to AD, neurons in AV have a less extensive projection to the subicular cortex, and this projection terminates primarily in the postsubicular and presubicular cortices. Further, the AD projection terminates in layers I, II/III, and V of postsubiculum, whereas the AV projection terminates only in layers I and V.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Limbic System / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rhodamines
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology*


  • Dextrans
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Fluoro-Ruby
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Rhodamines
  • leukoagglutinins, plants