Distribution of substance P‐like immunoreactive neurons in the human medulla oblongata: Co‐localization with monoamine‐synthesizing neurons

G. M. Halliday, Y. W. Li, T. H. Joh, R. G.H. Cotton, P. R.C. Howe, L. B. Geffen, W. W. Blessing

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    Abstract

    The raphe nuclei also contained SP‐like immunoreactivity (up to 30%) while few monoamine‐synthesizing neurons in the lateral and dorsomedial medulla contained SP‐like immunoreactivity approximately 5% of presumed serotonin‐, noradrenaline‐, and adrenthe adult human. The majority of SP‐like immunoreactive neurons were found in four main regions: the lateral medulla, the dorsomedial medulla, the spinal trigeminal nucleus, and the raphe nuclei. The morphology of immunoreactive cells varied according to the region in which they were found. In contrast to previous studies, we found large numbers (90,000) of SP‐like immunoreactive neurons throughout the adult human medulla oblongata. The distribution of these SP‐like immunoreactive neurons appears to be significantly different from those described in the rat and cat. These results were compared to the distributions of monoamine‐synthesizing and neuropeptide Y (NPY)‐like immunoreactive neurons in the human medulla previously reported (Halliday et al.: Neuroscience, in press, 1988a; J. Comp. Neurol., in press, 1988b). Colocalization studies revealed that many presumed serotonin‐synthesizing neurons in the raphe nuclei also contained SP‐like immunoreactivity (up to 30%) while few monoamine‐synthesizing neurons in the lateral and dorsomedial medulla contained SP‐like immunoreactivity (approximately 5% of presumed serotonin‐, noradrenaline‐, and adrenaline‐synthesizing neurons). The distributions of SP‐ and NPY‐like immunoreactive neurons were similar, although SP‐like immunoreactive neurons were concentrated in the lateral regions of the same structures. We have found that the distributions of monoaminesynthesizing, NPY‐, and SP‐like immunoreactive neurons significantly overlap, particularly in the lateral medulla of the adult human. There is a large increase in the number of these cells in this region compared to other species, emphasizing the neuroanatomical differences between humans and other species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)353-370
    Number of pages18
    JournalSynapse
    Volume2
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1988

    Keywords

    • Adrenaline
    • Catecholamine
    • Serotonin
    • Substance P

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