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Brain Res. 2002 Aug 2;945(2):249-58.

Serotonergic projections to the rostroventrolateral medulla from midbrain and raphe nuclei.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 151 Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI 53295, USA.


Double-label fluoresence immunohistochemistry was performed to define serotonergic projections from the raphe and midbrain to the sympathoexcitatory region of the rostroventrolateral medulla (RVLM). Immunolabelling of cholera toxin B subunit retrogradely transported from the pressor region of the RVLM was combined with serotonin (5-HT) immunohistochemistry. Major sources of serotonergic input to the RVLM were shown to include the raphe obscurus, raphe pallidus and raphe magnus with a minor contribution from the ventrolateral, lateral and ventral regions of the periaqueductal gray matter, and the dorsal raphe nucleus. Serotonergic modulation of sympathoexcitatory neurons may establish patterns of sympathetic nerve activity evident in many aspects of cardiovascular regulation.

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