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Brain Res Bull. 1987 Dec;19(6):735-41.

Immunocytochemical distribution of [Met]enkephalin-Arg-Gly-Leu immunoreactivity in the rat diencephalon.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


Recently, [Met]Enkephalin-Arg-Gly-Leu (MEAGL) was isolated from bovine adrenal glands, and it was found to be derived exclusively from proenkephalin. Therefore, we investigated the distribution of MEAGL-like immunoreactive neuronal perikarya and fibers in the rat diencephalon pretreated with colchicine by PAP immunocytochemistry. In the thalamus MEAGL immunoreactive neuronal perikarya were distributed in the paraventricular nucleus and the ventral part of the lateral geniculate nucleus. Immunoreactive fibers were found in the paraventricular, paracentral, anteroventral, reuniens and rhomboid nuclei. In addition, immunoreactive fibers were also noted in the anterior pretectal nucleus. In the hypothalamus, immunoreactive neuronal perikarya were observed in the medial preoptic area, anterior and lateral hypothalamic nuclei, perifornical region, parvocellular and postero-magnocellular regions of paraventricular nucleus, ventromedial nucleus, dorsomedial nucleus, arcuate nucleus, premammillary, medial mammillary and lateral mammillary nuclei. The distribution of immunoreactive fibers was similar to that of neuronal perikarya. However, immunoreactive fibers were also observed in the supraoptic and suprachiasmatic nuclei where no immunoreactive neuronal perikarya were detected. Numerous immunoreactive fibers were detected in the external layer of the median eminence, but there were few in the internal layer. The similarity and difference in the distribution between MEAGL and other proenkephalin peptides such as [Met]enkephalin were also discussed.

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