Considerations on the thalamostriatal system with some functional implications


  • J. M. Giménez-Amaya
  • S. de las Heras
  • E. Erro
  • E. Mengual
  • J. L. Lanciego


thalamostriatal projections, basal ganglia, thalamus, rat, cat, monkey, parkinson's disease


The thalamostriatal projections are largely neglected in current reviews dealing with basal ganglia function. In the past few years, however, several studies have re-evaluated these projections and have postulated their implication in more complex tasks within the basal ganglia organization. In this review, we try to focus on the morphological and functional importance of this system in the basal ganglia of the rat, cat and monkey. Special attention is paid to the thalamus as an important place for interaction between the input and the output systems of the basal ganglia through the thalamostriatal projections. Thus, we stress on the overlapping thalamic territories between the thalamic projection of the output nuclei of the basal ganglia and the thalamostriatal neurons. Our experimental data support the existence of several thalamic feedback circuits within the basal ganglia functional design. Finally, some considerations are provided upon the functional significance of these thalamic feedback circuits in the overall organization of the basal ganglia in health and disease.




Invited Reviews