In order to investigate the possible routes linking the thalamus in the two sides of the brain, the connections of the reticular nucleus (RT), the major component of the ventral thalamus, with contralateral dorsal thalamic nuclei were systematically investigated in the adult rat. This study was performed with several tract-tracing techniques: single and double retrograde labeling with fluorescent tracers, and anterograde tracing with biocytin. Retrograde tracing was also combined with immunocytochemistry to provide additional criteria for the identification of labeled RT neurons. The data obtained with the retrograde transport of one fluorescent tracer showed that RT neurons project to contralateral dorsal thalamic domains. In particular, retrograde labeling findings indicated that the anterior intralaminar nuclei, as well as the ventromedial (VM) nucleus, are preferential targets of the contralateral RT projections. Commissural neurons were concentrated in two portions of RT: its rostral part, including the rostral pole, which projects to the contralateral central lateral (CL) and paracentral (Pc) nuclei, and the ventromedial sector of the middle third of RT, which projects to the contralateral VM and posterior part of CL and Pc. The double retrograde labeling study of the bilateral RT-intralaminar connection indicated that at least part of the commissural RT cells bifurcate bilaterally to symmetrical portions of the anterior intralaminar nuclei. The targets of the RT commissural system inferred from the retrograde labeling data were largely confirmed by anterograde tracing. Moreover, it was shown that RT fibers cross the midline in the intrathalamic commissure. The present data demonstrate that bilateral RT connections with the dorsal thalamus provide a channel for interthalamic crosstalk. Through these bilateral connections with thalamic VM and intralaminar neurons, RT could influence the activity of wide territories of the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia of both hemispheres.
|Titolo:||Crosstalk between the two sides of the thalamus through the reticular nucleus: a retrograde and anterograde tracing study in the rat|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1993|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|