Serotonin-synthesizing neurons in the rostral medullary raphé/parapyramidal region transneuronally labelled after injection of pseudorabies virus into the rat tail

Ida E. Tóth, Dorina E. Tóth, Zsolt Boldogkoi, Ákos Hornyák, Miklós Palkovits, William W. Blessing

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Serotonin-synthesizing raphé/parapyramidal neurons (5-HT neurons) may function as sympathetic premotor neurons regulating sympathetic outflow to the cutaneous vascular bed. In the present study a genetically engineered pseudorabies virus (PRV) expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) was injected into the rat tail. After survival for 3-4 days the medulla oblongata was examined using double-label immunohistochemistry, with an antibody against GFP for the virus and an antibody against phenylalanine hydroxylase 8 (PH8) for 5-HT synthesis. Sections were examined using light microscopy, and conventional and confocal fluorescence microscopy. There were two subpopulations of PRV+ve neurons in the raphé/parapyramidal region: a more dorsally and laterally located subgroup of medium-sized and large neurons, mainly non-serotonergic, and a more ventrally located subgroup of small mainly serotonin-synthesizing neurons, including those just dorsal to the pyramids, those in raphé pallidus, and those in close relationship to the ventral surface in the parapyramidal-subependymal zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-286
Number of pages10
JournalNeurochemical research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006



  • 5-Hydroxytryptamine
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Cutaneous circulation
  • Medulla oblongata
  • Sympathetic premotor neurons
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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