Elucidation of white matter tracts of the human amygdala by detailed comparison between high-resolution postmortem magnetic resonance imaging and histology

Susumu Mori, Yusuke Kageyama, Zhipeng Hou, Manisha Aggarwal, Jaymin Patel, Timothy Brown, Michael I. Miller, Dan Wu, Juan C Troncoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The amygdala has attracted considerable research interest because of its potential involvement in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, attempts have been made using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate the integrity of the axonal connections to and from the amygdala under pathological conditions. Although amygdalar pathways have been studied extensively in animal models, anatomical references for the human brain are limited to histology-based resources from a small number of slice locations, orientations and annotations. In the present study, we performed high-resolution (250 µm) MRI of postmortem human brains followed by serial histology sectioning. The histology data were used to identify amygdalar pathways, and the anatomical delineation of the assigned structures was extended into 3D using the MRI data. We were able to define the detailed anatomy of the stria terminalis and amygdalofugal pathway, as well as the anatomy of the nearby basal forebrain areas, including the substantia innominata. The present results will help us understand in detail the white matter structures associated with the amygdala, and will serve as an anatomical reference for the design of in vivo MRI studies and interpretation of their data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
StatePublished - Mar 14 2017



  • Amygdala
  • Amygdalofugal pathway
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Histology
  • Microimaging
  • MRI
  • Stria terminalis
  • White matter anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Anatomy
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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