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Ultrastructural evidence for an olfactory-autonomic pathway through the rat central amygdaloid nucleus

Authors
Journal
Neuroscience Letters
0304-3940
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
133
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0304-3940(91)90067-4
Keywords
  • Autonomic Pathway
  • Olfaction
  • Amygdala
  • Retrograde Horseradish Peroxidase Transport
  • Electron Microscopy
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract The innervation of medullary projection neurons in the central amygdaloid nucleus (Ce) by afferents from the ventral taenia tecta (VTT) was investigated using combined lesion-induced axonal degeneration and retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase-conjugated wheat germ agglutinin (HRP-WGA). Injections of HRP-WGA into the nucleus tractus solitarii resulted in retrograde labeling of neurons in the medial Ce. Ultrastructurally HRP-WGA reaction product was identifiable in the perikarya and proximal dendrites of Ce neurons. Degenerating terminals, probably due to damage at the HRP-WGA injection site, were few and confined to the ventral Ce. Electrolytic coagulation of the VTT resulted in approximately 9% of terminals in medial Ce showing signs of degeneration at 5 days post-lesion. Of the terminals sampled, slightly more than 40% were in contact with the dendrites of retrogradely labeled neurons. Where evident, these terminals formed exclusively symmetrical synaptic contacts. These data provide evidence for an oligosynaptic olfactory-autonomic pathway in the rat that may mediate olfactory influences on gastric and cardiovascular aspects of autonomic function.

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