Topographical organization in the nucleus accumbens of afferents from the basolateral amygdala and efferents to the lateral hypothalamus

Neuroscience. 1995 Aug;67(3):625-30. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(95)00013-9.


The basolateral region of the amygdala and the lateral hypothalamic area are involved in cardiovascular regulation. The aim of the present investigation was to determine if the terminal field of afferent projections from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala to the nucleus accumbens overlap with the origin of the efferent projections from the nucleus accumbens to the lateral hypothalamic area. Neurons projecting from the nucleus accumbens to the lateral hypothalamic area were labeled by injecting the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold in the lateral hypothalamus of rats. In the same rats, fiber terminals from the amygdala to the nucleus accumbens were labeled by injecting the anterograde tracer Fluoro-Ruby in the basolateral region of the amygdala. Injections of Fluoro-Gold in the lateral hypothalamus labeled neurons in the posteromedial portion of the nucleus accumbens. Injections of Fluoro-Ruby in the basolateral amygdala labeled fibers and terminals in all parts of the nucleus accumbens with the highest density being found in the posteromedial part of the nucleus accumbens where Fluoro-Gold-labeled neurons were located. When regions of the posteromedial nucleus accumbens were examined under high-magnification, Fluoro-Ruby-labeled terminals appeared to make contact on Fluoro-Gold-labeled dendrites and cell bodies. This investigation demonstrates that there is a distinct overlap in the posteromedial region of the nucleus accumbens between the terminal field from neurons originating in the amygdala and neurons which project to the lateral hypothalamus. In addition, neurons in the basolateral amygdala appear to make synaptic contact with neurons in the nucleus accumbens that project to the lateral hypothalamic area.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Hypothalamus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley