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Oxytocin localization and function in the A1 noradrenergic cell group: ultrastructural and electrophysiological studies

journal contribution
posted on 1990-01-01, 00:00 authored by R M Buijs, E M Van der Beek, L P Renaud, Trevor DayTrevor Day, J H Jhamandas
Antibodies to oxytocin and noradrenalin were utilized in an immunocytochemical study of the caudal ventrolateral medulla of the rat brainstem. Noradrenalin was visualized by using antibodies to noradrenalin and by means of a silver-gold intensification of diaminobenzidine, whereas oxytocin could be demonstrated in the same section by using the diaminobenzidine precipitate as a marker. At the light microscopic level, oxytocin fibers were densely distributed around the A1 cell bodies. At the ultrastructural level, oxytocin-containing fibers were seen to terminate synaptically onto noradrenalin-containing neurons. Previous studies have shown that electrical stimulation of A1 neurons selectively activates vasopressin-secreting neurons in the supraoptic nucleus. Therefore, separate electrophysiological studies were set up, in which we observed that oxytocin infusions (100-200 pg) into the A1 area enhanced the activity of 16 out of 19 putative vasopressin-secreting neurons and elicited no response from any of 10 oxytocin-secreting neurons. This finding suggests that some of the parvicellular neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, from which the A1 neurons derive their oxytocin innervation, can activate the A1 cell group via this peptidergic neurotransmitter. One of the consequences of A1 neuronal activation is enhanced firing of hypothalamic supraoptic (and paraventricular) vasopressin-secreting neurons, and a consequent rise in plasma vasopressin.

History

Journal

Neuroscience

Volume

39

Issue

3

Pagination

717 - 725

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

United States

ISSN

0306-4522

Language

eng

Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article