Distribution of mu, delta, and kappa opiate receptor types in the forebrain and midbrain of pigeons

Anton Reiner, Steven E. Brauth, Cheryl A. Kitt, Remi Quirion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Ligands that are highly specific for the mu, delta, and kappa opiate receptor binding sites in mammalian brains have been identified and used to map the distribution of these receptor types in the brains of various mammalian species. In the present study, the selectivity and binding characteristics in the pigeon brain of three such ligands were examined by in vitro receptor binding techniques and found to be similar to those reported in previous studies on mammalian species. These ligands were then used in conjunction with autoradiographic receptor binding techniques to study the distribution of mu, delta, and kappa opiate receptor binding sites in the forebrain and midbrain of pigeons. The autoradiographic results indicated that the three opiate receptor types showed similar but not identical distributions. For example, mu, delta, and kappa receptors were all abundant within several parts of the cortical‐equivalent region of the telencephalon, particularly the hyperstriatum ventrale and the medial neostriatum. In contrast, in other parts of the cortical‐equivalent region of the avian telencephalon, such as the dorsal archistriatum and caudal neostriatum, only kappa receptors appeared to be abundant. Within the basal ganglia, all three types of opiate receptos were abundant in the striatum and low in the pallidum. Within the diencephalon, kappa and delta binding was high in the dorsal and dorsomedial thalamic nuclei, but the levels of all three receptor types were generally low in the specific sensory relay nuclei of the thalamus. Kappa binding and delta binding were high, but mu was low in the hypothalamus. Within the midbrain, all three receptor types were abundant in both the superficial and deep tectal layers, in periventricular areas, and in the tegmental dopaminergic cell groups. In many cases, the distribution of opiate receptors in the pigeon forebrain generally showed considerable overlap with the distribution of opioid peptide‐containing fiber systems (for example, in the striatal portion of the basal ganglia), but there were some clear examples of receptor‐ligand mismatch. For example, although all three receptor types are very abundant in the hyperstriatum ventrale, opioid peptide‐containing fibers are sparse in this region. Conversely, within the pallidal portion of the basal ganglia, opioid peptide‐containing fibers are abundant, but the levels of opiate receptors appear to be considerably lower than would be expected. Thus, receptorligand mismatches are not restricted to the mammalian brain, since they are a prominent feature of the organization of the brain opiate systems in pigeons. Although the precise functional significance of such mismatches will require further elucidation, it nonetheless appears likely that the endogenous opioid peptides of the avian brain act through the opiate receptors whose distribution is described in the present paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-382
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume280
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

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kappa Opioid Receptor
Columbidae
Opioid Receptors
Prosencephalon
Mesencephalon
Opiate Alkaloids
Brain
Basal Ganglia
Opioid Analgesics
Neostriatum
Telencephalon
Ligands
Binding Sites
Mediodorsal Thalamic Nucleus
Corpus Striatum
Diencephalon
delta Opioid Receptor
Globus Pallidus
Opioid Peptides
mu Opioid Receptor

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Distribution of mu, delta, and kappa opiate receptor types in the forebrain and midbrain of pigeons. / Reiner, Anton; Brauth, Steven E.; Kitt, Cheryl A.; Quirion, Remi.

In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, Vol. 280, No. 3, 01.01.1989, p. 359-382.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reiner, Anton ; Brauth, Steven E. ; Kitt, Cheryl A. ; Quirion, Remi. / Distribution of mu, delta, and kappa opiate receptor types in the forebrain and midbrain of pigeons. In: Journal of Comparative Neurology. 1989 ; Vol. 280, No. 3. pp. 359-382.
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