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

Enkephalinergic afferents of the centromedial amygdala in the rat.

The connectivity of the amygdaloid complex has been extensively explored with both anterograde and retrograde tracers. Even though the afferents of the centromedial amygdala [comprising the central (CEA) and medial (MEA) amygdaloid nuclei] are well established, relatively little is known about the neuropeptide phenotype of these connections. In this study, we first examined the distribution of mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and delta-opioid receptor (DOR) in the amygdala via in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. We then investigated the distribution of Met-enkephalin (ENK) and Leu-ENK fibers with immunohistochemistry and examined the distribution of preproenkephalin mRNA in the amygdala by using in situ hybridization. Finally, we examined the ENK projections to the CEA and MEA by using stereotaxic injections of the retrograde tracer cholera toxin subunit B or fluorogold revealed by immunohistochemistry combined with in situ hybridization to identify ENKergic neurons. Our results indicate that the centromedial amygdala receives ENK afferents, as indicated by the presence of MOR, DOR, and ENK fibers in the CEA and MEA, originating primarily from the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) and from other amygdaloid nuclei. The posterior BST, the basomedial nucleus (BMA), and the cortical nucleus of the amygdala (COA) were found to be the major ENK afferents of the MEA, whereas the anterolateral BST, the COA, the MEA, and the BMA provided the main ENKergic innervation of the CEA. In addition, we found that the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and the pontine parabrachial nucleus provide a moderate ENK input to the CEA and MEA. The functional implications of these connections in stress, anxiety, and nociception are discussed. J. Comp. Neurol. 496:859-876, 2006. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.[1]


  1. Enkephalinergic afferents of the centromedial amygdala in the rat. Poulin, J.F., Chevalier, B., Laforest, S., Drolet, G. J. Comp. Neurol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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