The basal ganglia play a critical role in the regulation of voluntary action in vertebrates. Our understanding of the function of the basal ganglia relies heavily upon anatomical information, but continued progress will require an understanding of the specific functional roles played by diverse cell types and their connectivity. An increasing number of mouse lines allow extensive identification, characterization, and manipulation of specified cell types in the basal ganglia. Despite the promise of genetically modified mice for elucidating the functional roles of diverse cell types, there is relatively little anatomical data obtained directly in the mouse. Here we have characterized the retrograde labeling obtained from a series of tracer injections throughout the dorsal striatum of adult mice. We found systematic variations in input along both the medial-lateral and anterior-posterior neuraxes in close agreement with canonical features of basal ganglia anatomy in the rat. In addition to the canonical features we have provided experimental support for the importance of non-canonical inputs to the striatum from the raphe nuclei and the amygdala. To look for organization at a finer scale we have analyzed the correlation structure of labeling intensity across our entire dataset. Using this analysis we found substantial local heterogeneity within the large-scale order. From this analysis we conclude that individual striatal sites receive varied combinations of cortical and thalamic input from multiple functional areas, consistent with some earlier studies in the rat that have suggested the presence of a combinatorial map.
- Basal ganglia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience