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Organisation of cingulum bundle fibres connecting the anterior thalamic nuclei with the rodent anterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortices

Bubb, Emma J., Nelson, Andrew J. D., Cozens, Thomas C. and Aggleton, John P. 2020. Organisation of cingulum bundle fibres connecting the anterior thalamic nuclei with the rodent anterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortices. Brain and Neuroscience Advances 4 , pp. 1-22. 10.1177/2398212820957160

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Despite considerable interest in the properties of the cingulum bundle, descriptions of the composition of this major pathway in the rodent brain have not kept pace with advances in tract tracing. Using complementary approaches in rats and mice, this study examined the dense, reciprocal connections the anterior thalamic nuclei have with the cingulate and retrosplenial cortices, connections thought to be major contributors to the rodent cingulum bundle. The rat data came from a mixture of fluorescent and viral tracers, some injected directly into the bundle. The mouse data were collated from the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas. The projections from the three major anterior thalamic nuclei occupied much of the external medullary stratum of the cingulum bundle, where they were concentrated in its more medial portions. These anterior thalamic projections formed a rostral-reaching basket of efferents prior to joining the cingulum bundle, with anteromedial efferents taking the most rostral routes, often reaching the genu of the corpus callosum, while anterodorsal efferents took the least rostral route. In contrast, the return cortico-anterior thalamic projections frequently crossed directly through the bundle or briefly joined the internal stratum of the cingulum bundle, often entering the internal capsule before reaching the anterior thalamus. These analyses confirm that anterior thalamic connections comprise an important component of the rodent cingulum bundle, while also demonstrating the very different routes used by thalamo-cortical and cortico-thalamic projections. This information reveals how the composition of the cingulum bundle alters along its length.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 2398-2128
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 17 August 2020
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2021 02:34

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