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Dorsal striatopallidal system in anurans

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Abstract

The dorsal striatopallidal system of tetrapods consists of the dorsal striatum (caudate-putamen in mammals) and the dorsal pallidum. Although the existence of striatal and pallidal structures has been well documented in anuran amphibians, the exact boundaries of these structures have so far been a matter of debate. To delineate precisely the dorsal striatopallidal system of anurans, we used quantitative analysis of leucine-enkephalin immunohistochemistry (in Bombina orientalis, Discoglossus pictus, Xenopus laevis, and Hyla versicolor), retrograde neurobiotin tracing studies (injections in the central and ventromedial thalamic nuclei in H. versicolor), and double-labeling tracing studies (injections in the lateral forebrain bundle and the caudal striatum in B. orientalis). Immunohistochemistry revealed that enkephalin-positive neurons are located mainly in the rostral and intermediate striatum. Neurobiotin tracing studies demonstrated that neurons projecting to the central and ventromedial thalamic nuclei are found in the intermediate and caudal striatum. Double-labeling studies revealed that the population of neurons in the rostral and intermediate striatum innervating the caudal striatum is separated from neurons projecting into the lateral forebrain bundle. Neurons that project to both the caudal striatum and the lateral forebrain bundle are found only in the dorsal part of the intermediate striatum. Taken together, our results suggest that the rostral striatum of anurans is homologous to the striatum proper of mammals, whereas the caudal striatum is comparable to the dorsal pallidum. The intermediate striatum represents a transition area between the two structures. J. Comp. Neurol. 468:299–310, 2004. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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