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J Comp Neurol. 1990 Feb 1;292(1):127-62.

Catecholaminergic systems in the brain of a gymnotiform teleost fish: an immunohistochemical study.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The localization of catecholamines (CA) in the brain of Apteronotus leptorhynchus was studied with immunohistochemical techniques using antibodies to the enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine B-hydroxylase (DBH), phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT), and the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA). Telencephalic TH and DA immunoreactive (ir) neurons were located in the following structures: olfactory bulb, area ventralis telencephali partes ventralis, centralis, dorsalis, and intermediate. Diencephalic TH ir neurons were distributed in: nucleus preopticus periventricularis pars anterior, floor of preoptic recess, n. suprachiasmaticus, n. preopticus periventricularis pars posterior, n. anterior periventricularis, area ventralis lateralis, rostral region of posterior periventricular nucleus (paraventricular organ of other authors), periventricular nucleus of posterior tuberculum, n. recessus lateralis, n. tuberis lateralis pars anterior, and n. tuberis posterior. Although most diencephalic TH ir structures were also DAir, the posterior periventricular nucleus, n. recessus lateralis pars medialis, n. recessus posterioris, and ventral region of nucleus lateralis tuberis pars anterior showed differences in the distribution of TH and DA immunoreactivity. The rhombencephalic structures contained cell groups with different combinations of catecholamines as follows: TH and DBH ir neurons in the isthmic tegmentum (locus coeruleus); TH and DBH ir cells in the rostral medullary tegmentum ventral to VIIth nerve; TH and PNMT ir cells in the sensory nucleus of the vagus nerve; TH, DBH, and PNMT ir cells in the dorsal medullary tegmentum, TH and DBH ir cells in the dorsomedian postobecular region, ventral to the descending trigeminal tract and lateral to the central canal at medullospinal levels. This study shows that: (1) with few exceptions TH and DA ir coincides, (2) gymnotiforms possess similar DBH ir rhombencephalic groups, but additional telencephalic and rhombencephalic TH ir groups, and PNMT ir cells that were not reported previously in teleosts, and (3) the presence of CAergic fibers in the electrosensory system supports findings of their modulatory function in communication and aggression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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