Somatostatin (SRIF) concentrations in catecholamine-rich nuclei of the rat brainstem were measured by radioimmunoassay. The study was performed both in control or sham operated animals and after transecting the major projections of hypothalamic SRIF-containing neurons. Concentrations of the peptide were found to be relatively high in the locus coeruleus, the parabrachial nucleus and the nucleus of the solitary tract; they were intermediate in the lateral reticular nucleus (Al cell group) and low in the substantia nigra. Transection of hypothalamic periventricular efferents resulted in a 58% depletion of SRIF content in the locus coeruleus, while concentrations of the peptide in other areas were unaffected. Transection of the medial forebrain bundle at the level of the lateral hypothalamus decreased SRIF content by 55% in the substantia nigra, but not in the other nuclei tested. It is concluded that the hypothalamus contributes significantly to the somatostatinergic innervation of the locus coeruleus and the substantia nigra, whereas SRIF in the other nuclei is intrinsic or originates outside the hypothalamus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience