Noncollateral projections of basal forebrain neurons to frontal and parietal neocortex in primates

Lary C. Walker, Cheryl A. Kitt, Mahlon R. DeLong, Donald L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that axons of the basal forebrain cholinergic system collateralize to innervate widely separated areas of cortex, two distinct, retrogradely transported fluorescent dyes were injected into discrete neocortical regions of three macaques. In two monkeys, True Blue was injected into parietal cortex and Nuclear Yellow into frontal cortex; in a third monkey, placement of the dyes was reversed. Following these large (3-10 μ, total) injections, neurons single labeled with either Nuclear Yellow or True Blue were seen throughout most of the ipsilateral nucleus basalis of Meynert and nucleus of the diagonal band of Broca. Neurons projecting to either frontal or parietal cortex were most heavily concentrated in the anteromedial aspect of the basal forebrain. A small number of labeled neurons was also seen in the contralateral basal forebrain. Cells single labeled with either True Blue or Nuclear Yellow were frequently adjacent to one another, but in no case was a neuron labeled with both dyes. Thus, individual neurons of the basal forebrain complex do not appear to innervate both frontal and parietal lobes of monkeys. This finding is consistent with recent studies in rodents which suggest that basal forebrain neurons innervate relatively small, restricted cortical fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • Nuclear Yellow
  • Nucleus basalis of Meynert
  • Nucleus of the diagonal band of Broca
  • Retrograde transport
  • True Blue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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