The distribution of neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactive neurons in the human medulla oblongata

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

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    Abstract

    We have described the distribution of neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactive neurons in the medulla oblongata of the adult human. The majority of neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactive cells were found in four regions of the medulla: the ventrolateral reticular formation, the dorsomedial medulla, the secondary sensory nuclei and the rostral raphe nuclei. The morphology of neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactive cells varied in each of these regions. In the ventrolateral reticular formation, the labelled neurons were round and pigmented caudal to the obex but elongated and non-pigmented rostral to the obex; in the dorsomedial medulla, they were triangular and pigmented caudal to but not rostral to the obex; in the secondary sensory nuclei, they were multipolar, non-pigmented and significantly smaller than in the other areas; in the rostral raphe nuclei, they were bipolar and non-pigmented. Colocalization studies revealed that many neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactive cells also synthesize monoamines, consistent with conclusions based on a quantitative comparison of their distributions. Neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity was present in about 25% of presumed noradrenaline-synthesizing cells in the caudal ventrolateral medulla (corresponding to the A1 region); about 50% of adrenaline- and 70% of presumed serotonin-synthesizing cells in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (C1 and B2-3 regions); 90-100% of presumed noradrenaline-synthesizing cells in the dorsomedial medulla at and above the obex (A2 region); about 50% of adrenaline-synthesizing cells in the rostral dorsomedial medulla (C2 region); about 5% of presumed serotonin-synthesizing cells in the rostral raphe nuclei (B2-3 region). The largest of these groups was the presumed serotonin-synthesizing cells that contained neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity in the rostral ventrolateral medulla. This is the first report of such a cell group in the medulla of any mammal, and emphasizes the neuroanatomical differences between humans and other species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)179-191
    Number of pages13
    JournalNeuroscience
    Volume26
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1988

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  • Cite this

    Halliday, G. M., Li, Y. W., Oliver, J. R., Joh, T. H., Cotton, R. G. H., Howe, P. R. C., Geffen, L. B., & Blessing, W. W. (1988). The distribution of neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactive neurons in the human medulla oblongata. Neuroscience, 26(1), 179-191. https://doi.org/10.1016/0306-4522(88)90136-4