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Afferent projections from the brainstem to the area hypothalamica dorsalis: a horseradish peroxidase study in the cat.

J. A. Aguirre, R. Covenas, J. R. Alonso, J. M. Lara, J. Aijon


Experiments using the retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase were performed in order to identify the cells of origin the ascending projections from different brainstem regions to the area hypothalamica dorsalis (aHd) in the cat. The afferent inputs to this area originate mainly from the midbrain and medulla oblongata regions. The main afferent source of the area hypothalamica dorsalis arises from the substantia grisea centralis, where a large number of labeled cells were observed bilaterally, although more abundant on the ipsilateral side. Substantial afferents reach the aHd from the nuclei vestibularis medialis and inferior and the formatio reticularis mesencephali. A modest number of peroxidase-labeled neurons were observed in the nuclei ruber, interpeduncularis, substantia nigra, reticularis gigantocellularis, vestibularis lateralis, cuneatus and gracilis. From the pons, the nucleus raphe magnus sends a weak projection to the aHd. These anatomical data suggest that such area could be involved in visceral, sexual, nociceptive somatosensorial, sleep-waking and motor mechanisms.

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