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Anatomical Organization of the Extended Amygdala

Bienkowski, Michael S. (2013) Anatomical Organization of the Extended Amygdala. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The concept of the extended amygdala proposed by de Olmos and Heimer suggests that the central (CEA) and medial nuclei of the amygdala (MEA) and the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BST) are parts of a contiguous cellular column of neurons with similar anatomical connectivity and functional output (Olmos; and Heimer; 1999). An alternative hypothesis proposed by Larry Swanson suggests that the CEA/MEA and BST are ventral differentiations of the striatum and pallidum, together forming a striatopallidal circuit that participates in a cortical reentrant loop (Swanson and Petrovich 1998, Swanson 2000).
In support of the extended amygdala concept, connections between the amygdala and BST are topographically-organized, suggesting the presence of discrete channels for information processing. Furthermore, results from several studies indicate that lesions of the amygdala or BST often produce experimental results that are quite similar (Zardetto-Smith, Beltz et al. 1994, Newman 1999, Tanimoto, Nakagawa et al. 2003, Nakagawa, Yamamoto et al. 2005, Deyama, Nakagawa et al. 2007). On the other hand, the concept of the extended amygdala has been challenged by results from behavioral studies that suggest a dissociation of CEA and BST functions in mediating behavioral processes associated with fear, anxiety (Walker and Davis 1997, Fendt, Endres et al. 2003, Walker, Toufexis et al. 2003, Sullivan, Apergis et al. 2004), social defeat (Jasnow, Davis et al. 2004), social interaction (Cecchi, Khoshbouei et al. 2002) and ethanol self-administration (Funk, O'Dell et al. 2006).
The studies in this dissertation were designed to test some of the assumptions proposed by the extended amygdala concept by more closely examining the similarities of extended amygdala circuits. In the first study, we tested the hypothesis proposed by de Olmos and Heimer that “all or most of the central extended amygdala would share similar inputs” (de Olmos and Heimer 1999). In the second study, we examined multisynaptic BST circuits that project to CEA and MEA to determine if BST circuits were maintained within topographically-organized channels. Our findings reveal several organizational principles for the anatomical relationship of the amygdala and BST subnuclei and suggest new theories for how extended amygdala circuits process information.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bienkowski, Michael S.msb21@pitt.eduMSB21
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRinaman, Lindarinaman@pitt.eduRINAMAN
Committee MemberCard, J. Patrickcard@pitt.eduCARD
Committee MemberSved, Alan Fsved@pitt.eduSVED
Committee MemberSibille,
Committee MemberStrick, Peterstrickp@pitt.eduSTRICKP
Committee MemberAston-Jones,
Date: 25 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 November 2012
Approval Date: 25 January 2013
Submission Date: 5 November 2012
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 147
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Neuroscience
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Extended Amygdala, Bed nucleus of stria terminalis, central amygdala, medial amygdala, dual retrograde tracing, pseudorabies virus, transsynaptic viral tracing
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2013 16:14
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2018 06:15

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