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Brain: Paratenial nucleus
Latin nucleus parataenialis thalami
Gray's subject #
Part of Midline nuclear group
BrainInfo/UW hier-307
MeSH [1]

The paratenial nucleus (nucleus parataenialis), a component of the thalamic midline nuclear group.[1] It is sometimes subdivided into nucleus parataenialis interstitialis (Hassler) and Nucleus parataenialis interstitialis (Hassler).[2][3] It is located above the bordering paraventricular nucleus of thalamus and below the anterodorsal nucleus.[4]

The paratenial nucleus, like other midline nuclei, receives inputs from a large number of regions in the brainstem, hypothalamus and limbic system. It projects back to an equally wide range, but in a fairly specific manner (in the past, the midline nuclei have often been described as "nonspecific" because of their global effects). Particular targets include medial frontal polar cortex, the anterior cingulate, insula, the piriform and entorhinal cortices, the ventral subiculum, claustrum, the core and shell of nucleus accumbens, the medial striatum, the bed nucleus of stria terminalis, and caudal parts of the central and basal nuclei of amygdala.[5]

While the exact function of the nucleus is uncertain, its connectivity suggests that it (and the periventricular nucleus) may act as a gateway for multimodal information to the limbic system used in selecting appropriate responses.[5] This might include high incentive values of food triggering feeding behaviour even when satiated.[6] Conversely, the midline nuclei may also play a role in retrieving consolidated fear conditioning through the projection to the central nucleus of the amygdala.[7]


  1. Carpenter MB, Sutin J. Human Neuroanatomy Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins Co., 1983.
  3. Jones EG. Correlation and revised nomenclature of ventral nuclei in the thalamus of human and monkey. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 1990; 54+55: 1-20 (Proceedings of the Xth Meeting of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Maebashi, Japan, October 1989)
  4. Wolfgang Dauber. Pocket Atlas of Human Anatomy: Founded by Heinz Feneis. Thieme, 2007. p. 364-365
  5. 5.0 5.1 Vertes RP, Hoover WB. Projections of the paraventricular and paratenial nuclei of the dorsal midline thalamus in the rat. J Comp Neurol. 2008 May 10;508(2):212-37. doi: 10.1002/cne.21679.
  6. Kelley AE, Baldo BA, Pratt WE. 2005. A proposed hypothalamic-thalamic-striatal axis for the integration of energy balance, arousal, and food reward. J Comp Neurol 493: 72–85.
  7. Padilla-Coreano N, Do-Monte FH, Quirk GJ. A time-dependent role of midline thalamic nuclei in the retrieval of fear memory. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Jan;62(1):457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.08.037.
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