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J Comp Neurol. 1991 Jul 22;309(4):535-48.

Immunohistochemical localization of serotoninergic, enkephalinergic, and catecholaminergic cells in the brainstem and diencephalon of a cartilaginous fish, Hydrolagus colliei.

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Neurobiology Department, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown 44272.


We localized serotonin (5-HT), leu-enkephalin (LENK), and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactive cells in the brain of a holocephalian, Hydrolagus colliei, by use of antibodies made in rabbit and the peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique. Only three locations contained TH+ cells, the caudal myelencephalon, the locus coeruleus, and the diencephalon. Of these locations, the diencephalon contained the most cells and the locus coeruleus the least cells. The caudal TH+ myelencephalic cells formed a single large group that spanned both the dorsal and ventral portions of the brain (A1A2). The diencephalic TH+ cells were located in the posterior tuberculum, in the ventromedial and ventrolateral thalamic nuclei, and in the inferior lobe of the hypothalamus. Hydrolagus differed from mammals and the elasmobranchs, their sister group, in that no substantia nigra (A9), ventral tegmental area (A10), or A5 cell group was found. Distribution of LENK+ and 5-HT+ cells were similar to each other; the raphe nuclei contained most of the 5-HT+ and LENK+ cells. These 5-HT+ and LENK+ cells were found at all rostrocaudal levels of the myelencephalon. The nucleus reticularis magnocellularis, reticularis paragigantocellularis lateralis, the ventral met- and mesencephalon (B7 and B9 cell groups), the hypothalamus, and the pretectal area contained additional 5-HT+ and LENK+ cells. The solitary complex contained LENK+ cells but not but 5-HT+ cells. A dorsal raphe nucleus, which is the largest 5-HT+ cell group in mammals, was absent in Hydrolagus. A dorsal raphe nucleus is present in one galeomorph shark radiation but is absent in three radiations of batoids (rays, skates, and guitarfish). Thus even within cartilaginous fish, there are differences in the distribution of neurochemicals and possibly nuclei within their brains.

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