2018 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 1-8
Although the hypothalamus is classified into more than 10 compartments, it still contains uncharacterized areas. In this study, we identified a new triangular-shaped area between the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN) and the fornix area in the mouse anterior hypothalamus, which is enriched in chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). We designated this region as the perifornical area of the anterior hypothalamus (PeFAH) based on its anatomical location. As evidenced by Nissl staining, the PeFAH was distinguishable as an area of relatively low density. Immunohistochemical and DNA microarray analyses indicated that PeFAH contains sparsely distributed calretinin-positive neurons and densely clustered enkephalin-positive neurons. Furthermore, the PeFAH was shown to have bidirectional neural connections with the lateral septum. Indeed, we confirmed enkephalinergic projections from PeFAH neurons to the lateral septum, and inversely, calbindin-positive lateral septum neurons as afferents to the PeFAH. Finally, c-Fos expression analysis revealed that the activity of certain PeFAH neuronal populations tended to be increased by psychological stressors, but not that of enkephalinergic neurons. We proposed PeFAH as a new region in the AH.