The chick archistriatum receives afferents from the intermediate part of the medial hyperstriatum ventrale (IMHV) and projects to the lobus parolfactorius (LPO). There is functional evidence to suggest that the IMHV and the LPO are connected, but there is no anatomical evidence for a direct connection between the two structures. The aim of the current study was to characterize the termination pattern of medial hyperstriatal afferents within the archistriatum to determine whether the archistriatum may act as a relay between the IMHV and LPO. Following iontophoresis of Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin into the medial hyperstriatum ventrale (including the IMHV) of 1‐week‐old domestic chicks, anterogradely labelled fibers were observed to descend through the medial neostriatum and paleostriatum to enter the archistriatum. These medial hyperstriatum ventrale afferents arborised profusely to give varicose axon branches within all except the anterior part of the archistriatum. However, the greatest density was present in the ventral part of the intermediate archistriatum. Electron microscope examination Phaseolus lectin immunocytochemistry and Golgi impregnation revealed that medial hyperstriatum ventrale axons formed multiple asymmetric synapses with dendritic spines (head and neck regions) on the terminal and preterminal dendritic segments of densely spiny archistriatal projection neurons. Medial hyperstriatum ventrale afferents were not observed to contact calbindin immunoreactive, presumptive “local circuit” neurons, within the archistriatum, despite a spatial overlap in their distribution. These results suggest that the archistriatum may be capable of mediating the transfer of information from the IMHV to the LPO. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
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