Interpeduncular nucleus

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Interpeduncular Nucleus
PartsApical subnucleus(IPA), Central subnucleus (IPC), Dorsolateral subnucleus (IPDL)x2, Dorsomedial subnucleus (IPDM)x2, Intermediate subnucleus (IPI)x2, Lateral subnculeus (IPL)x2, Rostral subnucleus(IPR)
LatinNucleus Interpeduncularis
NeuroLex IDbirnlex_1000
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The Interpeduncular nucleus is an unpaired, ovoid cell group at the base of the midbrain tegmentum. It is located in the mesencephalon below the interpeduncular fossa. As the name suggests, the interpeduncular nucleus lies in between the cerebral peduncles.


The Interpeduncular nucleus is primarily GABAergic and contains at least two neuron clusters of different morphologies. [1] The region is divided into 7 paired and unpaired subnuclei


The presence of non-homologous subdivisions of the Interpeduncular nucleus was first noticed by Cajal over a hundred years ago.[2] The currently recognized standard subdivision notation was mostly established by Hammill and Lenn in 1984 by combining the work and notations of four groups.[3] Although most of their proposed convention stuck, at some point the proposed "rostral lateral" sub-nucleus was renamed "dorsomedial" and became immortalized in brain atlases.

  • Apical sub-nucleus (IPA)

Unpaired sub-nucleus. Former names include "caudal dorsal", "dorsal", and "pars dorsalis magnocellularis." [3]

  • Central sub-nucleus (IPC)

Unpaired sub-nucleus. Former names include: "rostral ventral", "caudal central", "posterior inter", and "pars medianus".[3]

  • Dorsolateral sub-nucleus (IPDL)

Paired sub-nucleus.

  • Dorsomedial sub-nucleus (IPDM)

Paired sub-nucleus. Former names include: "rostral lateral"and "interstitial."[3]

  • Intermediate sub-nucleus (IPI)

Paired sub-nucleus. Former names include: "caudal intermediate", "posterior inner" and "pars medianus."[3]

  • Lateral sub-nucleus (IPL)

Paired sub-nucleus. Former names include: "caudal lateral", "paramedian" and "pars lateralis."[3]

  • Rostral sub-nucleus (IPR)

Unpaired sub-nucleus. Former names include: "central" and "pars dorsalis."[3]


The major input to the IPN arrives via the fasciculus retroflex from the medial habenula. This pathway presents the IPN with several excitatory neurotransmitters including ACh and Substance P. Other brain regions that project to the Interpeduncular nucleus include: the Nucleus of diagonal band, the dorsal Tegmentum, the Raphe nuclei, the Central grey, and the Locus coeruleus.[4]


The major output pathways are inhibitory and project to the dorsal Tegmental area, the Periaqueductal gray and also the Raphe nuclei. In addition, output is sent to the following: the mediodorsal nucleus of the Thalamus, the lateral Habenula, the Septal nuclei, the anterior Mammillary nuclei, the Nucleus of diagonal band, the Preoptic area, the Ventral tegmental area, and in some species the dorsal and/or lateral Hypothalamus.[4]


The Interpeduncular nucleus is thought to have a broad inhibitory effects on many other brain regions. IPN activity is linked with decreased dopamine release and utilization from dopamine producing regions.[5] The Interpeduncular nucleus is implicated with a role in the regulation of Rapid eye movement sleep [6] Activation of the GAD2 expressing sub-population of the IPN produced the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal suggesting that the misfunction of this region may be an active component of withdrawal.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gioia, Magda (1994), A cluster analysis of the neurons of the rat interpeduncular nucleus, University of Milan, Italy: Wiley-Blackwell
  2. ^ Cajal, S.R. (1909,1911,1995). Histologie du Système Nerveux de l'Homme et des Vertébrés, L. Azoulay, trans. Paris: Maloine. Translated into English as Histology of the Nervous System of Man and Vertebrates. New York: Oxford University Press. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Lenn, NJ; Hamill, GS (July 1984). "Subdivisions of the interpeduncular nucleus: a proposed nomenclature". Brain Research Bulletin. 13 (1): 203–4. doi:10.1016/0361-9230(84)90023-6. PMID 6478267.
  4. ^ a b Morley, BJ (1986). "The interpeduncular nucleus". International review of neurobiology. 28: 157–82. doi:10.1016/s0074-7742(08)60108-7. PMID 2433243.
  5. ^ Nishikawa, T; Fage, D; Scatton, B (May 14, 1986). "Evidence for, and nature of, the tonic inhibitory influence of habenulointerpeduncular pathways upon cerebral dopaminergic transmission in the rat". Brain Research. 373 (1–2): 324–36. doi:10.1016/0006-8993(86)90347-1. PMID 2424555.
  6. ^ Funato, Hiromasa (2010), Loss of Goosecoid-like and DiGeorge syndrome critical region 14 in interpeduncular nucleus results in altered regulation of rapid eye movement sleep, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas: PNAS
  7. ^ Zhao-Shea, R; Liu, L; Pang, X; Gardner, PD; Tapper, AR (Nov 13, 2013). "Activation of GABAergic Neurons in the Interpeduncular Nucleus Triggers Physical Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms". Current Biology. 23 (23): 2327–35. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.041. PMC 3855889. PMID 24239118.

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