Selective striatal connections of midbrain dopaminergic nuclei in the chick (Gallus domesticus)

Szilvia Mezey, András Csillag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


The avian medial striatum (lobus parolfactorius, LPO) has been considered an anatomically homogeneous region. However, recent findings have indicated that somatomotor and limbic functions may be linked to anatomically distinct units. The tracer fast blue was injected into the ventral tegmental area (AVT) or substantia nigra (SN) of 1-week-old domestic chicks, and the position of retrogradely labelled neurons was mapped in striatal subregions. In another set of experiments, fast blue and red microspheres were injected into the SN and AVT, and the number and position of single- and double-labelled neurons were established. Conversely, the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine was injected into different subregions of the striatum, and the position of labelled fibres and terminal fields was charted in the mesencephalic tegmentum. The neurons projecting to the SN or AVT considerably overlap in the viscerolimbic parts of the striatum, namely the medial and dorsal LPO, nucleus accumbens (Ac), tuberculum olfactorium, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and ventral paleostriatum. Exclusive striatonigral afferents arise from the paleostriatum augmentatum and paleostriatum primitivum. Of all labelled striatal neurons, 0.22% were double-labelled from both the AVT and the SN. Thus, the AVT and SN are innervated from distinct and partially overlapping subregions of the striatum. At the cellular level, however, striatonigral and striatoventrotegmental neurons represent separate neuronal populations, even in overlapping regions. Given the arrangement of striatoventrotegmental neurons, the Ac probably does not have a distinct boundary with the LPO but extends into the anatomically defined LPO, colocalizing with medial striatal neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalCell And Tissue Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2002


  • Avian brain
  • Basal ganglia
  • Chick
  • Lobus parolfactorius
  • Substantia nigra
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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