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Brain Res. 1998 Jan 5;780(1):150-4.

Mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons expressing neuromedin K receptor (NK3): a double immunocytochemical study in the rat.

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Department of Anatomy and K.K. Leung Brain Research Centre, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.


By using a double immunocytochemical method we examined the distribution of dopaminergic neurons expressing neuromedin K receptor (NKR; NK3) in the rat brain. The distribution of NKR-like immunoreactive (-LI) neurons completely overlapped that of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-LI neurons in the retrorubral field (A8), substantia nigra (A9), ventral tegmental area and nucleus raphe linealis (A10). Completely or partially overlapping distributions of NKR- and TH-LI neurons were found in certain regions of the hypothalamus (A11-A15) and olfactory bulb (A16). Neurons showing both NKR- and TH-like immunoreactivities, however, were only found in A8-A10: All of the NKR-LI neurons displayed TH-like immunoreactivity, and about 71-86% of the TH-LI neurons expressed NKR-like immunoreactivity. The present results provided morphological evidence for physiological modulation of dopaminergic neurons by tachykinins through NKR in A8-A10.

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