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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Noradrenergic innervation of peptidergic interneurons in the rat visual cortex.

Previous studies have shown that cortical interneurons, presumably GABAergic, are among the targets of the noradrenaline (NA)-containing cortical afferents and that NA interacts with neuropeptides at various cellular levels. The present study attempts to characterize further the cortical targets of the NA afferents by examining, at the light and the electron microscopic level, the anatomical relationships of the NA fibers with three subpopulations of cortical interneurons, those containing somatostatin (SRIF), neuropeptide Y (NPY) or vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). For this purpose, a double preembedding immunoprocedure with antibodies against NA and SRIF, NPY or VIP was combined with the gold-substituted silver peroxidase method. Light microscopic examination showed that NA fibers contact perikarya and proximal dendrites of the SRIF, NPY and VIP neurons. However, NA fibers, while found to form pericellular arrays around NPY neurons and, to a lesser extent, around SRIF neurons, were seen to target VIP cortical cells with single terminal varicosities. Electron microscopy revealed that all peptidergic populations examined represent synaptic targets for the NA fibers. The NAergic synapses, localized onto the cell body and proximal dendrites of the peptidergic neurons, were always of the symmetrical variety. Results of the present study provide the morphological basis for the explanation of the functional interaction between the NA cortical afferent system and the intrinsic cortical elements.[1]


  1. Noradrenergic innervation of peptidergic interneurons in the rat visual cortex. Paspalas, C.D., Papadopoulos, G.C. Cereb. Cortex (1999) [Pubmed]
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