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Immunohistochemical investigation of enkephalins in the human inner ear

, : Immunohistochemical investigation of enkephalins in the human inner ear. Hearing Research. 118(1-2): 123-128, Il

Enkephalins are generally considered as neuropeptides in the central and peripheral nervous system of mammals bound to three large precursor molecules. Several animal studies demonstrated the distribution of met- and leu-enkephalin-like immunoreactivities in neurons and terminals of the lateral olivocochlear system. The immunostainings in the medial system are more controversial. No data about the presence of different enkephalin sequences in the vestibular efferent terminals are known. In the present study, the ultrastructural localization and distribution of immunoreactivities for six different antibodies against met- and leu-enkephalins in the human cochlear and vestibular periphery were investigated. A modified method of pre-embedding immunoelectronmicroscopy was applied. Met- and leu-enkephalin-like immunoreactivities were observed in the efferent terminals of the human outer and inner hair cell region. Using different met- and leu-enkephalin antibodies, the distribution of immunoreactivities remained similar. In the five human vestibular endorgans, enkephalin-like immunostaining was absent.


PMID: 9606067

DOI: 10.1016/s0378-5955(98)00023-9

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