Norepinephrine and dopamine content of hypothalamic nuclei of the rat

Miklos Palkovits, Michael Brownstein, Juan M. Saavedra, Julius Axelrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

409 Citations (Scopus)


The concentrations of norepinephrine and dopamine of 27 isolated rat hypothalamic nuclei or nuclear subdivisions have been determined using an enzymatic-isotopic assay. The hypothalamic nuclei contain 3-20 times more NE and DA than is measured in the cortex. They are distributed unevenly throughout the hypothalamus and individual hypothalamic nuclei are heterogenous as regards their content of the amines. The dopamine content of the median eminence is among the highest measured in the brain (65 ng/mg protein). The norepinephrine content is about half that of dopamine. All of the hypothalamic nuclei contain dopamine. It is highly concentrated in the rostral subdivisions of the arcuate nucleus, the paraventricular and dorsomedial nuclei, the retrochiasmatic area, the medial posterior subdivision of the ventromedial nucleus and in the medial forebrain bundle at the posterior hypothalamic level. The highest concentrations of norepinephrine were found in the paraventricular and dorsomedial nuclei and in the retrochiasmatic area. The rostal subdivision of the arcuate nucleus and the periventricular and preoptic suprachiasmatic nuclei are also rich in norepinephrine. The posterior hypothalamus (premammillary nuclei, caudal subdivision of the arcurate nucleus, posterior hypothalamic nucleus) contains norepinephrine and dopamine in relatively low concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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