Previous studies suggest that the left and right amygdalae are interconnected in rodents. The origin and topography of these connections have, however, remained obscure. In the present study, we investigated the interamygdaloid projections originating in the different divisions of the basal and accessory basal nuclei of the rat amygdala by using the Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin anterograde tract-tracing technique. The basal nucleus gave rise to substantial interamygdaloid projections. However, the density of the projections depended on the location of Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin injection in the basal nucleus. The magnocellular and intermediate divisions projected heavily to the homonymous regions on the contralateral side, as well as to the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract. The parvicellular division projected lightly to the homonymous region on the contralateral side, to the contralateral anterior amygdaloid area and to the medial division of the central nucleus. The contralateral projections originating in the accessory basal nucleus were light compared to these of the basal nucleus. These data indicate that interamygdaloid connections in the rat brain are extensive and topographically organized. Via these connections, one amygdala may rapidly activate the contralateral side. This may explain, for example, why the epileptic seizures in one amygdala spread contralaterally and cause the development of independent seizure activity in kindling model of temporal lobe epilepsy.
- anterograde tracer
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