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Distribution, quantification, and morphological characteristics of serotonin-immunoreactive cells of the supralemniscal nucleus (B9) and pontomesencephalic reticular formation in the rat

, : Distribution, quantification, and morphological characteristics of serotonin-immunoreactive cells of the supralemniscal nucleus (B9) and pontomesencephalic reticular formation in the rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology 378(3): 411-424

In their initial report on the rat, Dahlstrom and Fuxe ((1964) Acta Physiol. Scand. 62:1-55) identified nine brainstem serotonin-containing cell groups, which they termed B1-B9. B9 has received considerably less attention than other serotonergic nuclei (B1-B8) due in part to the fact that its precise location and extent have not been well documented in subprimates. B9 (supralemniscal nucleus; SLN) has been viewed as a minor serotonergic cell group. In addition, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-containing cells have been shown to be only sparsely distributed throughout the pontomesencephalic reticular formation (PMRF). By using 5-HT immunohistochemical techniques, we examined the distribution and morphological characteristics of SLN and PMRF 5-HT neurons of the pontomesencephalic tegmentum. We showed that 5-HT cells of both the SLN and the PMRF extend rostrocaudally from the rostral midbrain to the midpons. 5-HT SLN cells are located within or dorsal to the medial lemniscus (ML); those of the PMRF are widely distributed throughout the PMRF. The mean numbers of 5-HT containing cells in the SLN, PMRF, dorsal raphe, and median raphe nuclei were 4,571, 1,948, 15,191, and 4,114, respectively. The SLN (B9) contains more 5-HT neurons than any serotonergic group other than the dorsal raphe nucleus. The dendrites of both SLN and PMRF 5-HT cells are primarily oriented mediolaterally and generally extend for long distances (75-300 mu-m), running perpendicular to the fibers of the ML (SLN) or, to those coursing through the brainstem (PMRF). The present anatomical delineation of SLN and PMRF shows that they are major 5-HT-containing cell groups in the rat and provides the foundation for the further examination of their properties and functions.


PMID: 9034900

DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1096-9861(19970217)378:3<411::aid-cne8>;2-6

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