Electron microscopic analysis of synaptic inputs from the median preoptic nucleus and adjacent regions to the supraoptic nucleus in the rat

William Armstrong, Min Tian, Hon Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The median preoptic nucleus (MnPo) is critical for normal fluid balance, mediating osmotically evoked drinking and neurohypophysial hormone secretion. The influence of the MnPo on vasopressin and oxytocin release is in part through direct connections to the supraoptic and paraventricular nucleus. In the present investigation the synaptic contacts between the MnPo and supraoptic neurons were investigated in rats by ultrastructural examination of terminals labeled anterogradely with the tracers Phaseolus vulgaris- leucoagglutinin or biotinylated dextran. At the light microscopic level, labeled fibers within the supraoptic nucleus branched frequently, were punctuated by varicosities, and were distributed throughout the nucleus without preference for the known distributions of oxytocin and vasopressin neurons. At the ultrastructural level, synapses were associated with many of these varicosities. The ratio of labeled axodendritic to axosomatic synapses encountered was roughly consistent with a uniform innervation of dendrites and somata. The great majority of synapses were characterized by symmetrical contacts. Similar results were found for a few injections made in the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, just rostral to the MnPo, and in the immediately adjacent periventricular preoptic area. Coupled with other recent anatomical and electrophysiological evidence, these results suggest there is a strong monosynaptic pathway from structures along the ventral lamina terminalis to the supraoptic nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-239
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume373
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 1996

Fingerprint

Supraoptic Nucleus
Preoptic Area
Electrons
Synapses
Oxytocin
Vasopressins
Posterior Pituitary Hormones
Neurons
Water-Electrolyte Balance
Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus
Carisoprodol
Dendrites
Dextrans
Hypothalamus
Drinking
Light
Injections

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The median preoptic nucleus (MnPo) is critical for normal fluid balance, mediating osmotically evoked drinking and neurohypophysial hormone secretion. The influence of the MnPo on vasopressin and oxytocin release is in part through direct connections to the supraoptic and paraventricular nucleus. In the present investigation the synaptic contacts between the MnPo and supraoptic neurons were investigated in rats by ultrastructural examination of terminals labeled anterogradely with the tracers Phaseolus vulgaris- leucoagglutinin or biotinylated dextran. At the light microscopic level, labeled fibers within the supraoptic nucleus branched frequently, were punctuated by varicosities, and were distributed throughout the nucleus without preference for the known distributions of oxytocin and vasopressin neurons. At the ultrastructural level, synapses were associated with many of these varicosities. The ratio of labeled axodendritic to axosomatic synapses encountered was roughly consistent with a uniform innervation of dendrites and somata. The great majority of synapses were characterized by symmetrical contacts. Similar results were found for a few injections made in the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, just rostral to the MnPo, and in the immediately adjacent periventricular preoptic area. Coupled with other recent anatomical and electrophysiological evidence, these results suggest there is a strong monosynaptic pathway from structures along the ventral lamina terminalis to the supraoptic nucleus.",
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