Delta opioid receptor immunoreactive boutons appose bulbospinal Cl neurons in the rat

Tina Stasinopoulos, Ann K. Goodchild, Macdonald J. Christie, John Chalmers, Paul M. Pilowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Bulbospinal sympathoexcitatory neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla are inhibited by activation of delta opioid receptors. However, it is not known whether this opioidergic effect is pre- or post- synaptic. Here, using retrograde tracing and immunocytochemistry in adult rats, we provide evidence that the delta opioid receptor is located on boutons that are presynaptic to both catecholaminergic and non-catecholaminergic neurons that project to the spinal cord. We suggest that the sympathoinhibitory action of delta opioid receptor activation in the rostral ventrolateral medulla is mediated presynaptically, resulting in a reduction of excitatory neurotransmitter release from boutons that appose sympathoexcitatory bulbospinal neurons. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-891
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Bulbospinal
  • Dopamine-β-hydroxylase
  • Opioid receptor
  • Phenylethanolamine- N-methyltransferase
  • Presympathetic neurons
  • Retrograde tracing
  • Rostral ventrolateral medulla


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