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

Differential effects of p-chlorophenylalanine on indoleamines in brainstem nuclei and spinal cord of rats. II. Identification of immunohistochemically stained structures using computer-assisted image enhancement techniques.

Following intraperitoneal injection of p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 400 and 600 mg/kg) on 3 consecutive days, the brainstem and lumbar cord of rats were removed, frozen-sectioned and immunohistochemically stained ( PAP method) for serotonin (5-HT). Using computer-assisted image analysis, the density of 5-HT staining in control, 400 and 600 mg/kg PCPA groups was determined. The mean number of pixels (representing 5-HT staining) was determined in 6 areas in the brainstem containing 5-HT cell bodies (nuclei raphe pallidus, raphe obscurus, rostral and caudal raphe magnus, raphe dorsalis and paragigantocellularis lateralis) and in the dorsal and ventral spinal cord. The results suggest a differential depletion of 5-HT within brainstem nuclei following PCPA treatment in that the most marked dose-related reductions were observed in nucleus raphe obscurus and caudal nucleus raphe magnus. Furthermore, a computer program designed to isolate terminal structures in the spinal cord identified a differential depletion of 5-HT terminals in the dorsal horn versus the ventral horn. The present study describes 3 analytical approaches combining immunohistochemistry with the computer-assisted image analysis technique and allows comparison between groups of animals which received the same or different drug treatments.[1]


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