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Noradrenergic axon terminals contact gastric preautonomic neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in rats.

Authors
  • Balcita-Pedicino, J J
  • Rinaman, L
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of comparative neurology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2007
Volume
501
Issue
4
Pages
608–618
Identifiers
PMID: 17278138
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Hypothalamic neural activity is modulated by viscerosensory signals that are carried in large part by noradrenergic (NA) inputs to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). The present study examined the ultrastructural relationship of NA axon varicosities with the somata and dendrites of identified gastric preautonomic PVN neurons in adult male rats. NA varicosities were visualized by immunoperoxidase labeling of dopamine beta hydroxylase (DbH), and gastric preautonomic PVN neurons were identified by immunogold labeling of pseudorabies virus (PRV) transported retrogradely and transneuronally from injection sites in the stomach wall. Among 1,136 DbH-positive varicosities identified within the parvocellular PVN in four rats, approximately 36% formed either a close apposition or a synaptic contact with a somatic or dendritic profile. The majority of identified contacts between DbH- and PRV-positive profiles were classified as close appositions that lacked clear synaptic specializations. Approximately 65% of identified synaptic contacts between DbH- and PRV-positive profiles were classified as symmetric (Gray's type II) synapses. DbH-positive terminals formed close appositions and synaptic contacts with dendritic and somatic compartments of PRV-positive neurons, although dendrites were contacted nearly five times more often than somata. These findings invite continued work to delineate the functional role of NA signaling pathways in conveying interoceptive signals to preautonomic PVN neurons under normal and pathophysiological conditions.

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