Electron microscopic and Golgi studies on the inferior lobes of sunfish and goldfish are described. The inferior lobe consists primarily of a nucleus ventricularis of densely packed cells surrounding the lateral recess of the third ventricle, and a peripherally situated nucleus diffusus consisting mostly of scattered neurons. A cell‐sparse zone of dense neuropil is located between the two cellular areas. Neurons of both nuclei have spiny dendrites and axons which originate from basal dendrites. In some cases axons are found to send a collateral into the cell‐sparse zone. Neurons of the nucleus diffusus possess collaterals that extend a considerable distance within the nucleus itself. The ultrastructure of cells of both nuclei reveals cytoplasmic organelles typical of most neurons. Synapses containing dense‐cored and clear vesicles are present on the spines and shafts of the dendrites of both neuronal types. In only rare cases synapses were observed on the soma of neurons of the nucleus ventricularis. Possible anatomical substrates involved in the control of feeding and aggression in teleosts are considered in light of the present findings. Morphological similarities of the inferior lobes and related areas in various fishes and amphibians are discussed and their possible significance for the understanding of the evolution of hypothalamic mechanisms is considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas