Fine networks of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT)-immunoreactive fibers are found in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus-mainly in the anterior, dorsal and dorso-medial parvicellular subdivisions, the lateral hypothalamus (dorsal, lateral and ventral to the fornix) and in the central amygdaloid nucleus. Coronal hemisections of the brainstem through the rostral level of the medulla oblongata show that most hypothalamic and amygdaloid PNMT fibers arise from the medullary adrenergic cell groups. Fourteen, but not 10 days after total hemisections, PNMT fibers disappeared almost completely from the hypothalamus and amygdala, ipsilateral to the knife cuts. A small decrease was also observed in the ventral, lateral hypothalamus on the contralateral side. Partial depletion of PNMT-immunoreactivity in the hypothalamus and the amygdala after medial or lateral brainstem hemisections indicates that ascending PNMT-immunoreactive fibers pass through mainly the lateral portion of the medulla, but some fibers also in its medial portion. Midsagittal transection of the diencephalon slightly reduced PNMT immunostaining in the paraventricular nucleus and the lateral hypothalamus bilaterally. The results show that the ascending PNMT system essentially is ipsilateral, but probably with a small crossing-over component, both at the diencephalic and lower brainstem level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience