Document Detail

The thalamostriatal systems: anatomical and functional organization in normal and parkinsonian states.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18805468     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although we have gained significant knowledge in the anatomy and microcircuitry of the thalamostriatal system over the last decades, the exact function(s) of these complex networks remain(s) poorly understood. It is now clear that the thalamostriatal system is not a unique entity, but consists of multiple neural systems that originate from a wide variety of thalamic nuclei and terminate in functionally segregated striatal territories. The primary source of thalamostriatal projections is the caudal intralaminar nuclear group which, in primates, comprises the centromedian and parafascicular nuclei (CM/Pf). These two nuclei provide massive, functionally organized glutamatergic inputs to the whole striatal complex. There are several anatomical and physiological features that distinguish this system from other thalamostriatal projections. Although all glutamatergic thalamostriatal neurons express vGluT2 and release glutamate as neurotransmitter, CM/Pf neurons target preferentially the dendritic shafts of striatal projection neurons, whereas all other thalamic inputs are almost exclusively confined to the head of dendritic spines. This anatomic arrangement suggests that transmission of input from sources other than CM/Pf to the striatal neurons is likely regulated by dopaminergic afferents in the same manner as cortical inputs, while the CM/Pf axo-dendritic synapses do not display any particular relationships with dopaminergic terminals. A better understanding of the role of these systems in the functional circuitry of the basal ganglia relies on future research of the physiology and pathophysiology of these networks in normal and pathological basal ganglia conditions. Although much remains to be known about the role of these systems, recent electrophysiological studies from awake monkeys have provided convincing evidence that the CM/Pf-striatal system is the entrance for attention-related stimuli to the basal ganglia circuits. However, the processing and transmission of this information likely involves intrinsic GABAergic and cholinergic striatal networks, thereby setting the stage for complex physiological responses of striatal output neurons to CM/Pf activation. Finally, another exciting development that will surely generate significant interest towards the thalamostriatal systems in years to come is the possibility that CM/Pf may be a potential surgical target for movement disorders, most particularly Tourette syndrome and Parkinson's disease. Although the available clinical evidence is encouraging, these procedures remain empirical at this stage because of the limited understanding of the thalamostriatal systems.
Yoland Smith; Dinesh Raju; Bijli Nanda; Jean-Francois Pare; Adriana Galvan; Thomas Wichmann
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2008-09-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Brain research bulletin     Volume:  78     ISSN:  1873-2747     ISO Abbreviation:  Brain Res. Bull.     Publication Date:  2009 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-23     Completed Date:  2009-03-23     Revised Date:  2014-03-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7605818     Medline TA:  Brain Res Bull     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  60-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Basal Ganglia / pathology,  physiopathology*
Intralaminar Thalamic Nuclei / pathology,  physiopathology*
Nerve Net / pathology,  physiopathology
Neural Pathways / pathology,  physiopathology
Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism,  physiology
Parkinson Disease / pathology,  physiopathology*
Synapses / metabolism,  physiology
Thalamus / pathology,  physiopathology*
Grant Support
P51 RR000165/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; P51 RR000165-485834/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; P51 RR000165-485970/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; R01 NS037948/NS/NINDS NIH HHS; R01 NS037948-12/NS/NINDS NIH HHS; R01 NS042937/NS/NINDS NIH HHS; R01 NS042937-06/NS/NINDS NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Neurotransmitter Agents

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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