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Brain Res. 1985 Dec 23;360(1-2):285-97.

Possible excitatory amino acid afferents to nucleus raphe dorsalis of the rat investigated with retrograde wheat germ agglutinin and D-[3H]aspartate tracing.


Evidence for excitatory amino acid afferents to nucleus raphe dorsalis (NRD) has been found with retrograde tracing techniques. For neuroanatomical definition of afferent sources to NRD, rats received stereotaxic injections of wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) or implantations of crystal WGA-HRP in glass micropipettes. Retrogradely transported WGA-HRP was visualized with the tetramethyl-benzidine method, and afferents to NRD were identified from 20 different brain regions. Large numbers of labeled cells appeared in the lateral hypothalamus, lateral habenular nucleus, ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial nuclei and nucleus raphe magnus. Important inputs were also noted from dorsomedial hypothalamus and the area surrounding the perihypoglossal nucleus. Smaller numbers of WGA-HRP labeled cells appeared in bed nucleus of stria terminalis, diagonal band of Broca, cuneiform nucleus, superior vestibular nucleus, pontine periventricular gray, and some hypothalamic and reticular areas. Another group of rats received microinjections of D-[3H]aspartate (D[3H]Asp) and autoradiography consistently revealed retrograde labeling of cell bodies in 4 of the regions indicated by the WGA-HRP experiments as afferents to NRD. The most prominent aggregation of D-[3H]Asp-labeled cells was found in the lateral habenular nucleus, indicating that this input operates with an excitatory amino acid as transmitter. Significant numbers of D-[3H]Asp-labeled cells were also found in substantia nigra, periaqueductal and pontine periventricular gray. After large D-[3H]Asp injections involving NRD as well as surrounding areas, labeled cells were observed in several additional areas. Some of these areas were considered as afferents to surrounding periaqueductal gray or dorsal tegmental nuclei, while others may represent NRD afferents with relatively lower affinity for D-[3H]Asp. Several afferents to NRD failed to label with D-[3H]Asp, including diagonal band of Broca, hypothalamic areas, ventral tegmental area, parabrachial nuclei, locus coeruleus and reticular areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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