Synaptic interaction of serotonergic axons and corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) synthesizing neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of the rat - A light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical study

Zs Liposits, C. Phelix, W. K. Paull

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The morphological interrelationship between the central serotonergic and hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) synthesizing systems was studied in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of colchicine pretreated male rats. The simultaneous immunocytochemical localization of the transmitter and peptide employed the peroxidase-antiperoxidase complex (PAP) technique using the silver-gold intensified (SGI) and non-intensified forms of the oxidized 3,3′-diaminobenzidine (DAB) chromogen. The paraventricular nucleus received a moderate serotonergic innervation as compared with other diencephalic structures. The distribution and arborization of serotonergic axons were more prominent in the parvocellular subnuclei than in the magnocellular units of the nucleus. Serotonin containing axons formed terminal bouton and en passant type synapses with dendrites and somata of parvocellular neurons. The immunocytochemical double labelling technique revealed the overlapping of serotonergic axons and CRF-immunoreactive neurons. Vibratome (40 μm) and semithin (1 μm) sections indicated that the interneuronal communication may take place on both dendrites and cell bodies of CRF-immunoreactive neurons. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrated that serotonin-containing terminals formed axo-dendritic and axo-somatic synapses with CRF-immunoreactive neurons. These findings indicate that the central serotonergic neuronal system can influence the function of the pituitary-adrenal endocrine axis via a direct action upon the hypophysiotrophic CRF synthesizing neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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