Intrinsic connections of the rat amygdaloid complex: projections originating in the accessory basal nucleus

J Comp Neurol. 1996 Oct 14;374(2):291-313. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19961014)374:2<291::AID-CNE10>3.0.CO;2-Y.


The amygdaloid complex plays an important role in the detection of emotional stimuli, the generation of emotional responses, the formation of emotional memories, and perhaps other complex associational processes. These functions depend upon the flow of information through intricate and poorly understood circuitries within the amygdala. As part of an ongoing project aimed at further elucidating these circuits, we examined the intra-amygdaloid connections of the accessory basal nucleus in the rat. In addition, we examined connections of the anterior cortical nucleus and amygdalahippocampal area to determine whether portions of these nuclei should be included in the accessory basal nucleus (as some earlier studies suggest). Phaseolus vulgaris leucogglutinin was injected into different rostrocaudal levels of the accessory basal nucleus (n = 12) or into the anterior cortical nucleus (n = 3) or amygdalahippocampal area (n = 2). The major intra-amygdaloid projections from the accessory basal nucleus were directed to the medial and capsular divisions of the central nucleus, the medial division of the amygdalohippocampal area, the medial division of the lateral nucleus, the central division of the medial nucleus, and the posterior cortical nucleus. The projections originating in the anterior cortical nucleus and the lateral division of the amygdalohippocampal area differed from those originating in the accessory basal nucleus, which suggests that these areas are not part of the accessory basal nucleus. The present findings and our previous data suggest that each of the deep amygdaloid nuclei have different intra-amygdaloid connections. The pattern of these various connections suggests that information entering the amygdala from different sources can be integrated only in certain amygdaloid regions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology*
  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia / anatomy & histology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar