Afferent and efferent connections of the diencephalic prepacemaker nucleus in the weakly electric fish, Eigenmannia virescens: interactions between the electromotor system and the neuroendocrine axis

J Comp Neurol. 1997 Jun 23;383(1):18-41. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19970623)383:1<18::aid-cne2>;2-o.


The afferent and efferent connections of the gymnotiform central posterior nucleus of the dorsal thalamus and prepacemaker nucleus (CP/PPn) were examined by retrograde and anterograde transport of the small molecular weight tracer, Neurobiotin. The CP/PPn was identified by physiological assay and received a local iontophoretic injection of Neurobiotin. Retrogradely labeled somata were observed in the ventral telencephalon, hypothalamus, and the pretectal nucleus electrosensorius. Anterogradely labeled fibers were traced from the CP/PPn to the ventral telencephalon, the hypothalamus, the neuropil immediately adjacent to the most rostral subdivision of the nucleus electrosensorius, the optic tectum, and the pacemaker nucleus. Retrograde transport of tracer following injections into the ventral telencephalon, preoptic area, lateral hypothalamus, tectum, and pacemaker nucleus confirmed these efferent targets. A rostromedial subarea of the CP/PPn can be identified that projects to basal forebrain regions and to a lateral region of the CP/PPn that contains afferents to the pacemaker. Many of the targets, which are connected with the CP/PPn, have been linked to reproductive behavior or neuroendocrine control in other fishes. A comparative analysis reveals that the efferent pathways of the CP/PPn appear similar and may be homologous to efferent pathways of some components of the auditory thalamus among tetrapods.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Diencephalon / cytology
  • Diencephalon / physiology*
  • Efferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Electric Fish / metabolism*
  • Electric Organ / innervation
  • Electric Organ / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Neurons, Efferent / physiology*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / anatomy & histology
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology*


  • neurobiotin
  • Biotin