The amygdala is important in higher-level control of cardiovascular functions. In this study, we compared cardiovascular-related projections among the subnuclei of the amygdala. Biotinylated dextran amine was injected into the central, medial, and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, and the distributions and densities of anterograde-labeled terminal boutons were analyzed. We found that the medial, basolateral, and central nuclei all had projections into the cardiovascular-related areas of the hypothalamus. However, only the central nucleus had a significant direct projection into the medulla. By contrast, the medial nucleus had limited projections, and the basolateral nucleus had no terminals extending into the medulla. We concluded that the medial, central, and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala may influence cardiovascular-related nuclei through monosynaptic connections with cardiovascular-related nuclei in the hypothalamus and medulla.
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