A reticuloreticular commissural pathway in the rat thalamus

G. Battaglia, C. Lizier, C. Colacitti, A. Princivalle, R. Spreafico

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To further characterize the communication between the thalami of the two hemispheres, a connection linking the rostral reticular nuclei of the two thalamic sides was investigated in the rat by retrograde and anterograde tracing. The rostral reticular nucleus can be divided into a medial region, with densely packed fusiform neurons, and a lateral region, with less densely packed, polymorphic neurons. After injections of Fluorogold (FG) in the medial region, retrogradely labeled, small fusiform neurons were found in the corresponding contralateral region. The retrograde labeling data were confirmed by the anterograde-tracing experiments. Thin, beaded axons, anterogradely labeled after injection of biocytin or biotinylated dextran- amine in the medial region, innervate the corresponding region in the contralateral reticular nucleus. The present data suggest the existence of a commissural pathway specifically devoted to the crosstalk between the rostral reticular nuclei of the two thalamic sides. The commissural gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic input on the GABAergic neurons of the rostral reticular nucleus could modulate the generation of sleep spindles. The reticuloreticular pathway may, moreover, synchronize the diffuse modulatory effect of the rostral reticular nucleus on nonprimary cortical areas through the bilateral projections of the nucleus to the ventromedial, intralaminar, and anterior thalamic nuclei.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • biotinylated dextran-amine
  • commissural projections
  • Fluorogold
  • GABA
  • thalamocortical system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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