Differential expression of catecholamine synthetic enzymes in the caudal ventral pons

Ann K. Goodchild, Jacqueline K. Phillips, Janusz Lipski, Paul M. Pilowsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The analysis of colocalization of multiple catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes within the ventrolateral part of the medulla oblongata of the rat revealed distinct subpopulations of neurons within the C1 region (Phillips et al., J Comp Neurol 2001, 432:20-34). In extending this study to include the caudal pons, it was shown for the first time that the A5 cell group could be distinguished by the presence of immunoreactivity to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC), and dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH). A novel cell group was also identified. The cells within this new group were immunoreactive to DBH but not TH, AADC, or phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) and will be referred to as the TH-, DBH+ cell group. The TH-, DBH+ neurons were not immunoreactive for either the dopamine or noradrenaline transporters, suggesting that these neurons do not take up these transmitters. A5 neurons were immunoreactive for the noradrenaline transporter but not the dopamine transporter (as previously shown). Retrograde tracing with cholera toxin B revealed that the TH-, DBH+ neurons do not project to the thoracic spinal cord or to the rostral ventrolateral medulla, but A5 neurons do. A calbindin immunoreactive cell group is located in a region overlapping TH-, DBH+ cell group. However, only a few neurons were immunoreactive for both markers. The physiological role of the TH-, DBH+ cell group remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


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