Axonal branching patterns of nucleus accumbens neurons in the rat
Keywords: 
Basal ganglia
Limbic system
Ventral striatum
Axonal collateralization
Single axon tracing
Reward
Issue Date: 
6-Aug-2010
Publisher: 
Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 
0021-9967
Citation: 
J Comp Neurol 2010 Nov 15;518(22):4649-4673.
Abstract
ABSTRACT The patterns of axonal collateralization of nucleus accumbens (Acb) projection neurons were investigated in the rat by means of single-axon tracing techniques using the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine. Seventy-three axons were fully traced, originating from either the core (AcbC) or shell (AcbSh) compartment, as assessed by differential calbindin D28kimmunoreactivity. Axons from AcbC and AcbSh showed a substantial segregation in their targets; target areas were either exclusively or preferentially innervated from AcbC or AcbSh. Axon collaterals in the subthalamic nucleus were found at higher than expected frequencies; moreover, these originated exclusively in the dorsal AcbC. Intercompartmental collaterals were observed from ventral AcbC axons into AcbSh, and likewise, interconnections at pallidal and mesencephalic levels were also observed, although mostly from AcbC axons toward AcbSh targets, possibly supporting crosstalk between the two subcircuits at several levels. Cell somata giving rise to short-range accumbal axons, projecting to the ventral pallidum (VP), were spatially intermingled with others, giving rise to long-range axons that innervated VP and more caudal targets. This anatomical organization parallels that of the dorsal striatum and provides the basis for possible dual direct and indirect actions from a single axon on either individual or small sets of neurons. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:4649– 4673, 2010.

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