The medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me) is part of a neural pathway that regulates sexual behavior in the male Syrian hamster. To characterize the neurochemical content of neurons in this nucleus, brains from colchicine-treated adult male and female hamsters were immunocytochemically labeled using antibodies that recognize the catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) and phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT), as well as dopamine: A large population of TH-immunoreactive (TH-IR) neurons was observed throughout Me of male and female hamsters, primarily concentrated in the midrostral and caudal portions of the nucleus. The somata were generally small to medium in size and bipolar. Brains from animals that did not receive colchicine contained a limited number of TH-IR neurons in Me as reported previously. The DBH and PNMT antisera did not label any cells in Me of colchicine-treated animals, and the dopamine antiserum labeled neurons in the same location as the caudal group of TH-IR cells. Therefore, these caudal TH-IR neurons are interpreted to be dopaminergic. The rostral group of TH-IR neurons, on the other hand, may be producing only the immediate precursor of dopamine, l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA). The TH-synthesizing neurons in Me of the Syrian hamster appear to be a species-specific group of cells located outside of the previously described catecholaminergic cell groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology