The crossed nigrostriatal projection decussates in the ventral tegmental decussation

Rodney Douglas*, Lauriston Kellaway, Matti Mintz, Gerhard van Wageningen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) tract-tracing techniques were used in 44 rats in order to establish the site of decussation of the crossed nigrostriatal projection. Somata in both the ipsilateral and the contralateral ventromedial mesencephalon were labelled after injection of HRP into the caudate nucleus. In agreement with previous studies, contralateral labelling constituted about 3% of the ipsilateral labelling. Midsagittal transection of the mesodiencephalic junction did not prevent the contraleral labelling. However, mid-sagittal transection of the ventral mesencephalon, or selective 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions of the ventral tegmental decussation did prevent the contralateral labelling. Moreover, 6-OHDA lesions of the substantia nigra ipsilateral to the horseradish peroxidase injection also prevented contralateral labelling. We conclude that the crossed nigrastriatal projection decussates in the ventral tegmental decussation, and that this projection is susceptible to damage by standard 6-OHDA lesions located on the opposite side to the origin of the crossed pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 18 Aug 1987


  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • Crossed mesostriatal projection
  • Crossed nigrostriatal projection
  • Horseradish peroxidase
  • Substantia nigra
  • Ventral tegmental decussation


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