Dorsal raphe, substantia nigra and locus coeruleus: interconnections with each other and the neostriatum

Brain Res Bull. Sep-Oct 1977;2(5):323-39. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(77)90066-1.


Using a retrograde axonal transport method, direct projections to the neostriatum were demonstrated from the dorsal raphe nucleus, a large area of the ventral midbrain tegmentum (including the ventral tegmental area of Tsai, the substantia nigra pars compacta, reticulata and suboculomotoria), and the tegmentum ventral to the caudal red nucleus. A direct projection was also found from the mediodorsal part of the substantia nigra to the rostral part of the dorsal raphe nucleus. Projections from the entopeduncular nucleus (pallidum) and the lateral hypothalamic area to the lateral habenular nucleus, and from the latter to the dorsal raphe nucleus were also found. This habenular projection arises primarily from large neurons in the medial part of the lateral habenula and also from another group of small cells immediately adjacent to the medial habenular nucleus. A non-reciprocal connection of the dorsal raphe nucleus to the locus coernuleus was also found. On the basis of these results and the data available in the literature on the possible neurotransmitters used by these various structures, it is suggested that the dorsal raphe nucleus may play an important role in brain stem modulation of neostriatal function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Stem / cytology*
  • Corpus Striatum / cytology*
  • Locus Coeruleus / cytology*
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Nucleus Accumbens / cytology
  • Raphe Nuclei / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology*
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / cytology