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Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Jan;218(1):131-49. doi: 10.1007/s00429-012-0388-3. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Mapping of alpha-neo-endorphin- and neurokinin B-immunoreactivity in the human brainstem.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neuroscience (Lab. 143), Pontificia Bolivariana-Montería University, Montería, Colombia.


We have studied the distribution of alpha-neo-endorphin- or neurokinin B-immunoreactive fibres and cell bodies in the adult human brainstem with no prior history of neurological or psychiatric disease. A low density of alpha-neo-endorphin-immunoreactive cell bodies was only observed in the medullary central gray matter and in the spinal trigeminal nucleus (gelatinosa part). Alpha-neo-endorphin-immunoreactive fibres were moderately distributed throughout the human brainstem. A high density of alpha-neo-endorphin-immunoreactive fibres was found only in the solitary nucleus (caudal part), in the spinal trigeminal nucleus (caudal part), and in the gelatinosa part of the latter nucleus. Neurokinin B-immunoreactive cell bodies (low density) were found in the periventricular central gray matter, the reticular formation of the pons and in the superior colliculus. The distribution of the neurokinin-immunoreactive fibres was restricted. In general, for both neuropeptides the density of the immunoreactive fibres was low. In the human brainstem, the proenkephalin system was more widely distributed than the prodynorphin system, and the preprotachykinin A system (neurokinin A) was more widely distributed than the preprotachykinin B system (neurokinin B).

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