Characterization of McDonald's intermediate part of the Central nucleus of the amygdala in the rat

Marie Barbier, Dominique Fellmann, Pierre Yves Risold

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8 Scopus citations


The actual organization of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) in the rat is mostly based on cytoarchitecture and the distribution of several cell types, as described by McDonald in 1982. Four divisions were identified by this author. However, since this original work, one of these divisions, the intermediate part, has not been consistently recognized based on Nissl-stained material. In the present study, we observed that a compact condensation of retrogradely labeled cells is found in the CEA after fluorogold injection in the anterior region of the tuberal lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) in the rat. We then searched for neurochemical markers of this cell condensation and found that it is quite specifically labeled for calbindin (Cb), but also contains calretinin (Cr), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and methionine-enkephalin (Met-Enk) immunohistochemical signals. These neurochemical features are specific to this cell group which, therefore, is distinct from the other parts of the CEA. We then performed cholera toxin injections in the mouse LHA to identify this cell group in this species. We found that neurons exist in the medial and rostral CEAl that project into the LHA but they have a less tight organization than in the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2186
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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  • calbindin
  • calretinin
  • intermediate part of the central amygdalar nucleus
  • tyrosine hydroxylase


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