ANATOMY OF THE PRIMATE AMYGDALOID COMPLEX

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The amygdaloid complex has long been implicated in the organization of
visceral, endocrine and autonomic aspects of species-specific behavior, and
such affective responses as aggression and defense, sexual arousal, and
appetitive behavior. More recently, however, neuropsychological studies of
the primate amygdala have clearly shown that it also has a role in
cognitive functions such as associative memory. These newly uncovered
roles for the primate amygdala are consistent with its widespread
connections with the cerebral cortex. While there is little evidence of
direct projections between the amygdala and the neocortex in non-primates,
in the monkey brain, it has recently been found to project to much of the
frontal, temporal, insular and occipital cortices including primary
sensory, unimodal associational, and polymodal associational areas. Most
of these amygdalocortical projections have only just been identified and
the analysis of their anatomical organization is at a very early stage.
The goals of the proposed studies are: first, to determine the topographic
organization of the amygdalocortical projections with special reference to
regional and cross modality divergence; and second, to determine candidate
neurotransmitters for these projections. Specifically, the topography of
the amygdalocortical projections will be studied by injecting fluorescent
dyes with distinct emission spectra into different cortical regions and
analyzing sections through the amygdaloid complex for single and/or double
retrogradely labeled cells. Neurotransmitter candidates will be examined
by two different strategies. In the first, the possibility that these
connections are mediated by an excitatory amino acid will be studied by
injecting D-3H-aspartate into cortical terminal fields and examining the
amygdaloid complex for retrogradely labeled cells. In the second strategy,
the distribution of neurons containing other putative neurotransmitters
will be studied immunohistochemically using antisera directed against a
variety of peptides, such as somatostatin, and specific enzymatic markers,
such as glutamic acid decarboxylase. Lesions of the human amygdaloid
complex have been found to result in a variety of behavioral and cognitive
disturbances. For example, such damage has been linked to the development
of temporal lobe epilepsy. It is also known that the amygdala is one of
the first structures to demonstrate histologic changes in Alzheimer's
disease. The anatomical organization of the amygdala also appears to be
abnormal in childhood autism. Moreover, the fact that the amygdala has one
of the highest brain levels of benzodiazepine receptors is suggestive that
it may mediate the antianxiety effects of these drugs. Knowledge of the
amygdalocortical interconnections will advance our understanding of the
normal and pathological functioning of this prominent component of the
limbic system.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/867/31/12

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $14,052.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $559,654.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $329,889.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $292,172.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $284,249.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $60,000.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $292,977.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $46,749.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $543,406.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $325,613.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $543,219.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $179,995.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $182,645.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $177,411.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $537,937.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $638,251.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $329,719.00
  • National Institutes of Health

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)

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