Send to

Choose Destination
Anat Embryol (Berl). 2006 Nov;211(6):721-37. Epub 2006 Oct 27.

Nitric oxide synthase-containing neurons in the amygdaloid nuclear complex of the rat.

Author information

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy and Histology, Medical University, Sofia 1431, Bulgaria.


The nitric oxide-producing neurons in the rat amygdala (Am) were studied, using reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPHd) histochemistry. Almost all nuclei of the Am contained NADPHd-positive neurons and fibers, but the somatodendritic morphology and the intensity of staining of different subpopulations varied. The strongly stained neurons displayed labeling of the perikaryon and the dendritic tree with Golgi impregnation-like quality, whilst the dendrites of the lightly stained neurons were less successfully followed. Many strongly positive neurons were located in the external capsule and within the intraamygdaloid fiber bundles. A large number of small, strongly stained cells was present in the amygdalostriatal transition area. In the Am proper, a condensation of deeply stained cells occurred in the lateral amygdaloid nucleus. In the basolateral nucleus, the strongly NADPHd-positive neurons were few, and were located mainly along the lateral border of the nucleus. These cells clearly differed from the large, pyramidal, and efferent cells. The basomedial nucleus contained numerous positive cells but most of them were only lightly labeled. A moderate number of strongly stained neurons appeared in the medial division of the central nucleus, and a larger accumulation of strongly positive cells was present in the lateral and the capsular divisions. The medial amygdaloid nucleus contained numerous moderately stained neurons and displayed the strongest diffuse neuropil staining in Am. In the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract, the first layer contained only NADPHd-stained axons, in the second layer, there were numerous moderately stained cells, and in the third layer, a few but deeply stained neurons. From the cortical nuclei, the most appreciable number of stained neurons was seen in the anterior cortical nucleus. The anterior amygdaloid area contained numerous NADPHd-positive neurons; in its dorsal part the majority of cells were only moderately stained, whereas in the ventral part the neurons were very strongly stained. The intercalated amygdaloid nucleus lacked NADPHd-positive neurons but an appreciable plexus of fine, tortuous axons was present. In the intra-amygdaloid part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (st) some lightly stained cells were seen but along the entire course of st strongly stained neurons were observed. Some Am nuclei, and especially the central lateral nucleus and the intercalated nucleus, display considerable species differences when compared with the primate Am. The age-related changes of the nitrergic Am neurons, as well as their involvement in neurodegenerative diseases is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center