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J Comp Neurol. 1984 Feb 1;222(4):543-59.

Occurrence of neurotensinlike immunoreactivity in subpopulations of hypothalamic, mesencephalic, and medullary catecholamine neurons.


By using indirect immunofluorescence histochemistry combined with the elution-restaining technique, the presence of a neurotensinlike peptide in some catecholamine neurons in the rat brain has been demonstrated. At the level of the medulla oblongata neurotensinlike immunoreactivity was observed in most of the small-sized catecholamine (adrenaline) cell bodies in the dorsolateral part of the nucleus of the solitary tract and in some catecholamine (noradrenaline) cells in the medial part. Neurotensin-positive fibers were found throughout the solitary tract nucleus with increasing concentrations in the rostral direction. Very few neurotensin fibers were seen in the vagal dorsal motor nucleus, which contained a dense network of adrenaline fibers. In the ventral mesencephalon, neurotensinlike immunoreactivity was seen mainly in dopamine cell bodies in the ventral tegmental area, including midline structures, with only single examples of coexistence in the substantia nigra. The dopamine cell bodies of both the A9 and A10 cell groups were surrounded by dense to medium-dense networks of neurotensin fibers. In the hypothalamus numerous dopamine neurons in the arcuate nucleus exhibited neurotensinlike immunoreactivity. Neurotensin-positive nerve terminals, partially overlapping catecholamine (mainly dopamine) fibers, were seen in the external layer of the median eminence. The present results demonstrate coexistence of neurotensinlike immunoreactivity and catecholamines in populations of neurons in some of the central catecholamine cell groups and provide a morphological basis for interactions between the peptide and amines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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