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

Localization of cardiac vagal preganglionic motoneurones in the rat: immunocytochemical evidence of synaptic inputs containing 5-hydroxytryptamine.

The origin of cardiac vagal preganglionic motoneurones in the rat is still controversial and knowledge of the chemistry of synaptic inputs onto these neurones is limited. In this investigation vagal preganglionic motoneurones innervating the heart were identified by the retrograde transport of cholera toxin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (CT-HRP) combined with the immunocytochemical localization of 5-hydroxytryptamine. Injection of CT-HRP into the myocardium resulted in the retrograde labelling of neurones primarily in the ventral regions of the nucleus ambiguus (75.1%). Labelled neurones were also distributed in a narrow band through the reticular formation extending between the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve and the nucleus ambiguus (17.3%) as well as in the dorsal motor nucleus itself (7.6%). A combination of retrograde labelling with immunocytochemistry for 5-hydroxytryptamine revealed that the neuronal perikarya and the dendrites of cardiac vagal motoneurones in the nucleus ambiguus were often ensheathed in 5-hydroxytryptamine-immunoreactive axonal boutons. Electron microscopic examination of this material confirmed that there were synaptic specializations between these boutons and the cardiac vagal motoneurones. The identification of 5-hydroxytryptamine-containing synaptic inputs to this population of vagal motoneurones provides further detail towards the understanding of the regulation of heart rate by the parasympathetic nervous system.[1]


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