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Brain Res. 1988 Sep 27;461(1):53-63.

Neurons containing a N-terminal sequence of the TRH-prohormone (preproTRH53-74) are present in a unique location of the midbrain periaqueductal gray of the rat.

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Department of Medicine, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111.


Using an antiserum (no. 373) raised against a tyrosinated analog of preproTRH53-74 [( Tyr1]preproTRH53-74 or pYT 22), we have demonstrated the presence of a discrete population of immunoreactive neurons in the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG). Relative to the distribution of serotonin, somatostatin, peptide histidine isoleucine (PHI), methionine enkephalin, substance P and neurotensin-containing neuronal perikarya in the PAG, neurons containing immunoreactive pYT 22 occupied a unique location in the ventrolateral PAG. In contrast, terminal fields containing these neuroactive substances with the exception of PHI, were seen in abundance in the region of the ventrolateral PAG neurons. These studies indicate that a non-TRH sequence contained within the N-terminal portion of the TRH prohormone are expressed in a distinct group of neurons in the ventrolateral PAG. The location of these neurons in the PAG in a region richly innervated by nerve terminals containing analgesia-mediating substances, suggests a possible role for proTRH-derived peptides in the modulation of nociception.

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