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Peptides. 1985 Sep-Oct;6(5):891-901.

Behavioral investigation of the coexistence of substance P, corticotropin releasing factor, and acetylcholinesterase in lateral dorsal tegmental neurons projecting to the medial frontal cortex of the rat.


Colocalization of substance P (SP), corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) was detected by retrograde tracing and immunocytochemical staining in the nucleus tegmentalis dorsalis lateralis (ntdl) projecting to the medial frontal cortex (MFC), septum, and thalamus of the rat. The histochemical results suggest that SP and CRF coexist within a subpopulation of ntdl cholinergic neurons that project to a number of forebrain regions including the MFC. Behavioral studies of the effects of SP, CRF, and the cholinergic agonist, carbachol, employed microinjections into the MFC of rats. SP and CRF did not elicit any behavioral effects when administered alone. Carbachol (1-5 micrograms/side) produced a stereotyped motor behavior, consisting of rapid forepaw treading while in an upright posture, resembling "boxing." SP (1 micrograms/side) increased carbachol-induced "boxing." CRF (1-10 ng/side) decreased carbachol-induced "boxing." One possible functional significance of the coexistence of SP, CRF, and acetylcholinesterase, in neurons projecting to the medial frontal cortex in rats, appears to be a modulatory potentiation of cholinergic response by SP, and a modulatory inhibition of the cholinergic response by CRF.

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