The bed nucleus‐amygdala continuum in human and monkey

Donald L. Price, Lee J. Martin, Richard E. Powers, Tammy L. Dellovade

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109 Scopus citations


The cytoarchitecture and distributions of seven neuropeptides were examined in the the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST), substantia innominata (SI), and central and medial nuclei of the amygdala of human and monkey to determine whether neurons of these regions form an anatomical continuum in primate brain. The BST and centromedial amygdala have common cyto‐ and chemo‐architectonic characteristics, and these regions are components of a distinct neuronal complex. This neuronal continuum extends dorsally, with the stria terminalis, from the BST and merges with the amygdala; it extends ventrally from the BST through the SI to the centromedial amygdala. The cytoarchitectonics of the BST‐amygdala complex are heterogeneous and compartmental. The BST is parcellated broadly into anterior, lateral, medial, ventral, supracapsular, and sublenticular divisions. The central and medial nuclei of the amygdala are also parcellated into several subdivisions. Neurons of central and medial nuclei of the amygdala are similar to neurons in the lateral and medial divisions of the BST, respectively. Neurons in the SI form cellular bridges between the BST and amygdala. The BST, SI, and amygdala share several neuropeptide transmitters, and patterns of peptide immunoreactivity parallel cytological findings. Specific chemoarchitectonic zones were delineated by perikaryal, peridendritic/perisomatic, axonal, and terminal immunoreactivities. The results of this investigation demonstrate that there is a neuronal continuity between the BST and amygdala and that the BST‐amygdala complex is prominent and discretely compartmental in forebrains of human and monkey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-485
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 22 1991


  • basal forebrain
  • enkephalin
  • neurotensin
  • somatostatin
  • substantia innominata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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