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Brain Res. 2007 Sep 5;1167:56-70. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Localization of L-DOPA uptake and decarboxylating neuronal structures in the cat brain using dopamine immunohistochemistry.

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Laboratorie de Physiologie Intégrative, Cellulaire et Moléculaire, CNRS UMR5123/Université Lyon1, Bat Raphaël Dubois, Campus La Doua, 43 Bd du 11 Novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France.


The present study examined dopamine-immunoreactive neuronal structures using immunohistochemistry in conjunction with an anti-dopamine antiserum, following injection of l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) with or without an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (Pargyline) in the cat brain. L-DOPA injection made it possible to detect dopamine immunoreactivity in presumptive serotonergic and noradrenergic cell bodies and axons. Weak to moderate dopamine immunoreactivity was observed in non-aminergic cells (possibly so-called "D" cells containing aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC)) in several hypothalamic, midbrain, pontine and medullary nuclei. Intense dopamine immunoreactivity became visible in a large number of cells and axons (possibly containing AADC) with wide distribution in the brain following administration of L-DOPA with Pargyline. AADC is most likely active in cells and axons that take up L-DOPA, where it decarboxylates the L-DOPA to dopamine. However, newly synthesized dopamine in such cells is rapidly oxidized by monoamine oxidase.

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