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Neuroscience. 1991;44(3):655-62.

Neurons with access to the general circulation in the central nervous system of the rat: a retrograde tracing study with fluoro-gold.

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Functional Morphology Section, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.


Central nervous system neurons which have access to the general circulation were identified by injecting the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold peripherally. Fluoro-Gold does not penetrate the blood-brain barrier but is taken up by nerve terminals which project to areas supplied by fenestrated capillaries or to the periphery. Fluoro-Gold-accumulating neurons were present in the following regions or cell groups of the central nervous system: diagonal band of Broca; medial preoptic area; organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis; subfornical organ; anterior periventricular area; paraventricular nucleus; arcuate nucleus; accessory magnocellular nuclei of the hypothalamus; motor neurons of cranial nerves III-VII, and IX-XII in the brainstem and spinal cord; autonomic ganglionic cells of cranial nerve III (Westphal-Edinger nucleus) in the mesencephalon and the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord; sensory ganglia of the cranial nerve V (mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus); and the C1-C2 and A2 adrenergic cell groups in the medulla. In addition, Fluoro-Gold-accumulating neurons were seen in the sensory ganglia of cranial and spinal nerves. Retrograde labeling with Fluoro-Gold can be combined with immunocytochemistry to identify the chemical messengers within Fluoro-Gold-labeled perikarya. Although a large number of neurons are labeled in the central nervous system with Fluoro-Gold when it is administered peripherally, this technique in combination with immunocytochemistry can be a powerful tool to identify selected neuronal systems in the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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