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Keywords:

  • thalamus;
  • cortex;
  • autoradiography;
  • horseradish peroxidase

Abstract

The efferent projections of the parvicellular division of the ventroposteromedial nucleus of the thalamus (VMPpc; thalamic taste area) were traced to cortex in Macaca fascicularis by using tritiated amino acid autoradiography. Labeled fascicles could be traced from VPMpc to two discrete regions of cortex. The primary efferent projection was located on ipsilateral insular-opercular cortex adjacent to the superior limiting sulcus and extended as far rostrally as the posterior lateral orbitofrontal cortex. An additional projection was located within primary somatosensory (SI) cortex subjacent to the anterior subcentral sulcus. Following autoradiographic injections in VPM, the trigeminal somatosensory relay, a dense terminal plexus was labeled on SI cortex of both pre- and postcentral gyri, but not within insular-opercular cortex. The autoradiographic data were verified by injecting each cortical projection area with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and observing the pattern of retrogradely labeled somata within the thalamus. Injections in the precentral gyrus near the anterior subcentral sulcus retrogradely labeled neurons within VPMpc, whereas injections further caudally near the floor of the central sulcus labeled, neurons within VPM. Injections of HRP within opercular, insular, or posterior lateral orbitofrontal cortex retrogradely labeled neurons within VPMpc.