The Pedunculopontine Nucleus Area: Critical Evaluation of Interspecies Differences Relevant for its Use as a Target for Deep Brain Stimulation

Mesbah Alam; Kerstin Schwabe; Joachim K. Krauss


Brain. 2011;134(1):1-23. 

In This Article

The Peripeduncular Nucleus

The peripeduncular nucleus is bordered on its ventral aspect by the substantia nigra pars compacta and the cerebral peduncle, and on its dorsal aspect by the parvocellular and the magnocellular nucleus of the medial geniculate body. Both are in the immediate vicinity of the brachium colliculi inferioris, the principal conducting pathway from the inferior colliculus to the medial geniculate body (Maiskii et al., 1984).

In rodents, cytochemical tracing suggests that the peripeduncular nucleus is connected with limbic, motor, auditory, dorsal and ventral nuclei of the lateral lemniscus and non-specific diencephalic and mesencephalic centres including the pedunculopontine nucleus, cuneiform and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (Arnault and Roger, 1987). It also has a reciprocal connection with the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Autoradiographically it has been shown that the peripeduncular nucleus is a powerful source of projections into the amygdaloid complex (Jones et al., 1976). Studies in rodents show that it projects to the rostral zones of the amygdaloid complex. In monkeys, however, it projects to the basolateral zone of the amygdaloid complex (Jones et al., 1976; Turner and Herkenham, 1981). The paramedian and medial parts of the peripeduncular nuclei in monkey seem to be the essential components in the prefrontopontine connection (Schmahmann and Pandya, 1997).

The peripeduncular nucleus apparently plays an important role in the neuroendocrine control of male and female copulatory behaviour in rodents, as well as in the regulation of the milk ejection reflex (Tindal and Knaggs, 1975; Hansen and Köhler, 1984; Lòpez and Carrer, 1985; Factor et al., 1993; Szabo et al., 2010). Additionally, in Alzheimer's disease, neurofibrillary tangles have been shown in the peripeduncular nucleus among several subcortical nuclei and cortical regions (German et al., 1987). However, to our knowledge, no study has related the peripeduncular nucleus to movement.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.