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Brain Res. 2005 May 10;1043(1-2):65-75.

Retrograde study of projections from the tuberomammillary nucleus to the dorsal raphe and the locus coeruleus in the rat.

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Department of Premedical Science, College of Medicine, Konkuk University, Chungju, Chungbuk 380-701, South Korea.


In the first series of experiments, a retrograde tracer, WGA-apo-HRP-gold (WG), was injected into the dorsal raphe (DR) or the locus coeruleus (LC) and adenosine deaminase immunostaining was subsequently performed for the tuberomammillary nucleus (TMN) in order to investigate projections from the TMN to the two brainstem monoaminergic nuclei. Following rostral DR injections, the majority of retrogradely labeled cells were located in the dorsomedial and ventrolateral subdivisions of the TMN. At middle DR levels, midline injections resulted in labeling mainly in the ventrolateral subdivision, whereas lateral wing injections produced labeling mostly in ventral and caudal TMN subdivisions. When injections were made in the caudal DR, only a few cells were observed along the rostro-caudal extent of the TMN. On the other hand, following rostral LC injections, labeled neurons were observed mainly in ventrolateral and ventral subdivisions of TMN. For principal LC injections, labeled cells were observed mostly in ventrolateral, ventral, and caudal TMN subdivisions, whereas for injections at caudal pole of LC, only a few cells were located along the rostro-caudal extent of the TMN. In the second series of experiments, an iontophoretic injection of fluorogold (FG) into the DR was paired with a pressure injection of WG into the LC to investigate the collateral distribution of TMN axonal fibers to DR and LC. Double-labeled cells were observed in ventrolateral, ventral, and caudal TMN subdivisions. The present study indicated that there exists a robust projection from the TMN to the DR or the LC and that some TMN neurons have axon collaterals projecting to both DR and LC. The TMN neurons with such axon collaterals might provide simultaneous, possibly more efficient, way of controlling the brainstem monoaminergic nuclei, thus influencing various sleep and arousal states of the animal.

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