Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase in the rat brain: immunocytochemical localization in neurons of the brain stem

Author(s): Jaeger CB, Ruggiero DA, Albert VR, Park DH, Joh TH, et al.


Neurons containing the enzyme aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase were immunocytochemically localized in the brain stem of the rat. The enzyme occurred as expected in previously well characterized monoaminergic cell groups, and in addition in some nuclei with unknown neurotransmitters. Major aggregates of neurons that were immunoreactive for aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase but contained neither tyrosine hydroxylase nor serotonin, were found in the pretectal nuclei, the lateral parabrachial nucleus, and the dorsolateral subdivision of the nucleus tractus solitarius. Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase was also present in serotonin neurons and the majority of catecholamine cell groups. Dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline cells exhibited characteristic staining intensities to anti-aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase reflective of relative enzyme levels in the different groups. Some cells in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus that were previously classified as dopaminergic lacked immunoreactivity to aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase.

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