Subthalamo-Pallidal Circuit

Charles J. Wilson

in Handbook of Brain Microcircuits

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780195389883
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965137 | DOI:
Subthalamo-Pallidal Circuit

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The subthalamo-pallidal system constitutes the second layer of circuitry in the basal ganglia, lying downstream of the striatum. It consists of four nuclei. Two of them, the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe) and subthalamic nucleus (STN), make their connections primarily within the basal ganglia. The other two, the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) and the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), are the output nuclei of the basal ganglia. Collectively their axons distribute collaterals to all the targets of the basal ganglia, including several thalamic nuclei, the superior colliculus, pedunculopontine nucleus, Forel field H, and lateral habenular nucleus. All the nuclei consist primarily of principal cells. Rare interneurons have been reported in each of them from studies of Golgi-stained preparations but these have not so far been confirmed using more modern methods. This chapter describes a circuit based primarily on studies of the axonal arborizations of neurons stained individually by intracellular or juxtacellular labeling.

Chapter.  2996 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

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