Efferent projections of reuniens and rhomboid nuclei of the thalamus in the rat.
ABSTRACT The nucleus reuniens (RE) is the largest of the midline nuclei of the thalamus and exerts strong excitatory actions on the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex. Although RE projections to the hippocampus have been well documented, no study using modern tracers has examined the totality of RE projections. With the anterograde anatomical tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leuccoagglutinin, we examined the efferent projections of RE as well as those of the rhomboid nucleus (RH) located dorsal to RE. Control injections were made in the central medial nucleus (CEM) of the thalamus. We showed that the output of RE is almost entirely directed to the hippocampus and "limbic" cortical structures. Specifically, RE projects strongly to the medial frontal polar, anterior piriform, medial and ventral orbital, anterior cingulate, prelimbic, infralimbic, insular, perirhinal, and entorhinal cortices as well as to CA1, dorsal and ventral subiculum, and parasubiculum of the hippocampus. RH distributes more widely than RE, that is, to several RE targets but also significantly to regions of motor, somatosensory, posterior parietal, retrosplenial, temporal, and occipital cortices; to nucleus accumbens; and to the basolateral nucleus of amygdala. The ventral midline thalamus is positioned to exert significant control over fairly widespread regions of the cortex (limbic, sensory, motor), hippocampus, dorsal and ventral striatum, and basal nuclei of the amygdala, possibly to coordinate limbic and sensorimotor functions. We suggest that RE/RH may represent an important conduit in the exchange of information between subcortical-cortical and cortical-cortical limbic structures potentially involved in the selection of appropriate responses to specific and changing sets of environmental conditions.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: NMDAR antagonists can evoke delta frequency bursting in the nucleus reticularis of the thalamus (nRT). The mechanism of this oscillation was determined; antagonist blocks an NR2C-like conductance that has low Mg block at resting potential and thus can contribute a resting inward current in response to ambient glutamate. Block of this current hyperpolarizes the cell, deinactivating T-type Ca channels and thus triggering delta frequency bursting. The basis for assuming a NR2C-like conductance was that (1) transcripts for NR2C are abundant in the thalamus and (2) the current-voltage curve of the synaptically evoked NMDAR current has the low rectification characteristic of NR2C. In the current study, we have sought to determine whether the channels that generate the NMDAR current are NR2C-like or are actually comprised of receptors containing NR2C. We studied the current-voltage curve of synaptically evoked NMDAR current in the nRT of NR2C knockout mice. In wild-type mice, the current was weakly voltage dependent, as previously observed in rats. This weak rectification was absent in NR2C KO mice. In contrast, NR2C KO had no effect on the strongly rectifying NMDAR current in pyramidal cells of the prefrontal cortex. These results demonstrate that the low rectification normally observed in the nRT is due to NR2C.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e41908. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Activation of thalamocortical networks by the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist phencyclidine: reversal by clozapine.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists are widely used as pharmacological models of schizophrenia. Their neurobiological actions are still poorly understood, although the prefrontal cortex (PFC) appears as a key target area. We examined the effect of phencyclidine (PCP) on neuronal activity of the mediodorsal (MD) and centromedial (CM) thalamic nuclei, reciprocally connected with the PFC, using extracellular recordings (n = 50 neurons from 35 Wistar rats) and c-fos expression. Phencyclidine (.25 mg/kg intravenous [IV]) markedly disorganized the activity of MD/CM neurons, increasing (424%) and decreasing (41%) the activity of 57% and 20% of the recorded neurons, respectively (23% remained unaffected). Phencyclidine reduced delta oscillations (.15-4 Hz) as assessed by recording local field potentials. The subsequent clozapine administration (1 mg/kg IV) reversed PCP effects on neuronal discharge and delta oscillations. Double in situ hybridization experiments revealed that PCP (10 mg/kg intraperitoneal [IP]) markedly increased c-fos expression in glutamatergic neurons of several cortical areas (prefrontal, somatosensory, retrosplenial, entorhinal) and in thalamic nuclei, including MD/CM. Phencyclidine also increased c-fos expression in the amygdala; yet, it had a small effect in the hippocampus. Phencyclidine did not increase c-fos expression in gamma-aminobutyric acidergic cells except in hippocampus, amygdala, somatosensory, and retrosplenial cortices. Clozapine (5 mg/kg IP) had no effect by itself but significantly prevented PCP-induced c-fos expression. Phencyclidine likely exerts its psychotomimetic action by increasing excitatory neurotransmission in thalamo-cortico-thalamic networks involving, among others, PFC, retrosplenial, and somatosensory cortices. The antipsychotic action of clozapine includes, among other actions, an attenuation of the neuronal hyperactivity in thalamocortical networks.Biological psychiatry 01/2011; 69(10):918-27. · 8.93 Impact Factor