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Brain Res. 1987 Apr 7;408(1-2):141-53.

A comparative study of the immunohistochemical localization of a presumptive proctolin-like peptide, thyrotropin-releasing hormone and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the rat central nervous system.


A proctolin (PROC)-like peptide was studied immunohistochemically in the hypothalamus, lower brainstem and spinal cord of the rat using an antiserum against PROC conjugated to thyroglobulin. Neuronal cell bodies containing PROC-like immunoreactivity (PROC-LI) were observed in the dorsomedial, paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus and in the nucleus raphe magnus, nucleus raphe pallidus, nucleus raphe obscurus and nucleus interfascicularis nervi hypoglossi in the medulla oblongata. Fibers containing PROC-LI were seen in the median eminence and in other hypothalamic nuclei, and in the lower brainstem in cranial motor nuclei including the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve, the motor trigeminal nucleus, the facial nucleus and nucleus ambiguous, and in lower numbers in the nucleus of the solitary tract and locus coeruleus. Fibers containing PROC-LI were also located in the spinal cord, in the intermediolateral cell column at thoracic levels and in the ventral horns at all levels of the spinal cord. After transection of the spinal cord, all PROC-immunoreactive fibers below the lesion disappeared. Following injection of Fast blue into the thoracic spinal cord, retrogradely labeled cells in the nuclei raphe pallidus, obscurus and magnus and nucleus interfasciculari nervi hypoglossi were seen to contain PROC-LI. PROC-LI had a similar distribution as thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)-LI in the above-mentioned areas and coexistence of TRH-LI and PROC-LI was shown in cell bodies in the hypothalamus and medulla oblongata. PROC-LI could also be shown to coexist with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-LI in neuronal cell bodies in the lower brainstem. The results demonstrate the occurrence of a PROC-like peptide in the mammalian nervous system, and these neurons seem to be at least largely identical to previously described TRH systems. A possible involvement of the PROC-like peptide in spinal motor control is discussed in relation to the well-established role of PROC in control of motor behavior in insects and invertebrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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