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

J Comp Neurol. 1998 May 25;395(1):53-72. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19980525)395:1<53::aid-cne5>;2-g.


Inputs from the amygdaloid and extraamygdaloid areas terminate in various divisions of the central nucleus. To elucidate the interconnections between the different regions of the central nucleus and its connectivity with the other amygdaloid areas, we injected the anterograde tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) into the capsular, lateral, intermediate, and medial divisions of the central nucleus in rat. There were a number of labeled terminals near the injection site within each division. The intrinsic connections between the various divisions of the central nucleus were organized topographically and originated primarily in the lateral division, which projected to the capsular and medial divisions. Most of the connections were unidirectional, except in the capsular division, which received a light reciprocal projection from its efferent target, the medial division. The intermediate division did not project to any of the other divisions of the central nucleus. Extrinsic projections from the central nucleus to the other amygdaloid nuclei were meager. Light projections were observed in the parvicellular division of the basal nucleus, the anterior cortical nucleus, the amygdalohippocampal area, and the anterior amygdaloid area. No projections to the contralateral amygdala were found. These data show that the central nucleus has a dense network of topographically organized intradivisional and interdivisional connections that may integrate the intraamygdaloid and extraamygdaloid information entering the different regions of the central nucleus. The sparse reciprocal connections to the other amygdaloid nuclei suggest that the central nucleus does not regulate the other amygdaloid regions but, rather, executes the responses evoked by the other amygdaloid nuclei that innervate the central nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • leukoagglutinins, plants