New subdivision schema for the avian torus semicircularis: Neurochemical maps in the chick



Chemoarchitectonic subdivisions in the chicken torus semicircularis were mapped by means of acetylcholinesterase histochemistry and immunocytochemical labeling of leucineenkephalin, choline acetyltransferase, neuropeptide Y, and calbindin/calretinin in adjacent sections. The torus semicircularis was found to consist of three main divisions: intercollicular area, torai nucleus, and preisthmic superficial area. All three appear variously subdivided. The intercollicular area is a mid-mesencephalic ventral periventricular region and appears subdivided into core and shell intercollicular regions. The toral nucleus is formed by a large caudal periventricular cytoarchitectonic complex, consisting of a periventricular lamina subdivided into core and shell regions, a pericentral, diffuse external nucleus, a central nucleus subdivided into core and shell regions, a caudomedial shell nucleus, a paracentral nucleus, and a posterior hiliar nucleus, apart from other minor parcellations. The preisthmic superficial area extends superficially at the caudomedial end of the toral nucleus, reaching the paramedian dorsal brain surface just rostral to the isthmo-optic nucleus. It is subdivided into core and shell regions. This previously unnoticed area is distinguished here from the intercollicular area and from the caudomedial shell and paracentral nuclei, all of which are frequently mixed in the literature under the concept “intercollicular nucleus.” The revised terminology and subdivision for the avian torus clarifies many chemoarchitectonic and hodological mappings reported in the literature. It also suggests new research subjects and eliminates some causes of confusion. © Wiley-Liss, Inc.