Immunohistochemical mapping of neuropeptides in the premamillary region of the hypothalamus in rats

Tibor Ágoston Lantos, Tamás Jeno Görcs, Miklós Palkovits

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The topographical distribution of neuropeptide-containing cell bodies, fibers and terminals was studied in the premamillary region of the rat hypothalamus using light microscopic immunohistochemistry. Alternate coronal sections through the posterior third of the hypothalamus of normal and colchicine-treated male rats were immunostained for 19 different neuropeptides and their distributions were mapped throughout the following structures: the ventral and dorsal premamillary, the supramamillary, the tuberomamillary and the posterior hypothalamic nuclei, as well as the premamillary portion of the arcuate nucleus and the postinfundibular median eminence. Seventeen of the investigated neuropeptides were present in neuronal perikarya, nerve fibers and terminals while the gonadotropin associated peptide and vasopressin occurred only in fibers andn terminals. Growth hormone-releasing hormone-, somatostatin-, α-melanocyte stimulating hormone-, adrenocorticotropin, β-endorphin- and neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive neurons were seen exclusively in the premamillary portion of the arcuate nucleus. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone-, dynorphin A- and galanin-containing neurons were distributed mainly in the arcuate and the tuberomamillary nuclei. A high number of methionine- and leucine-enkephalin-immunoreactive cells were detected in the arcuate and dorsal premamillary nuclei, as well as in the area ventrolateral to the fornix. Substance P-immunoreactive perikarya were present in very high number within the entire region, in particular in the ventral and dorsal premamillary nuclei. Cell bodies labelled with cholecystokinin- and calcitonin gene-related peptide antisera were found predominantly in the supramamillary and the terete nuclei, respectively. Corticotropin-releasing hormone-, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide- and neurotensin-immunoreactive neurons were scattered randomly in low number, mostly in the arcuate and the ventral and dorsal premamillary nuclei. Peptidergic fibers were distributed unevenly throughout the whole region, with each peptide showing an individual distribution pattern. The highest density of immunoreactive fibers was presented in the ventral half of the region including the arcuate, the ventral premamillary and the tuberomamillary nuclei. The supramamillary nucleus showed moderately dense fiber networks, while the dorsal premamillary and the posterior hypothalamic nuclei were poor in peptidergic fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-249
Number of pages41
JournalBrain Research Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995



  • Arcuate nucleus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuropeptide
  • Posterior hypothalamic nucleus
  • Posterior hypothalamus
  • Premamillary nucleus
  • Supramamillary nucleus
  • Tuberomamillary nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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