The Connections of the Medial Part of the Subthalamic Nucleus in the Rat: Evidence for a Parallel Organization

  • Henk W. Berendse
  • Henk J. Groenewegen
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 39)


The anatomical relationships of the subthalamic nucleus (STh) with ventral striatopallidal parts of the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortical areas were studied in the rat, using anterograde and retrograde tracing methods. The anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris-leucoagglutinin was injected in the STh, the prefrontal cortex, the globus pallidus, the ventral pallidum, and the parafascicular thalamic nucleus. Injections of the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold were placed in the globus pallidus and the ventral pallidum. The results of these experiments reveal that the medial part of the STh and the adjacent lateral hypothalamic area are reciprocally connected with ventral parts of the basal ganglia and receive projections from the prefrontal cortex and the medial part of the parafascicular nucleus. The connections are organized in parallel to those of the lateral part of the STh. Furthermore, three zones can be identified in the medial part of the STh and the adjacent lateral hypothalamic area, each having parallel connections with distinct parts of the pallidum and receiving projections from different prefrontal cortical areas. The present findings suggest that the subthalamic nucleus is also involved in non-motor functions.


Prefrontal Cortex Globus Pallidus Medial Part Subthalamic Nucleus Lateral Hypothalamic Area 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henk W. Berendse
    • 1
  • Henk J. Groenewegen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and EmbryologyVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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