Serotonin inputs to rabbit sympathetic preganglionic neurons projecting to the superior cervical ganglion or adrenal medulla

Iwona Jensen, Ida J. Llewellyn‐Smith*, Paul Pilowsky, Jane B. Minson, John Chalmers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    29 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The input from serotonin‐containing nerve fibres to rabbit sympathetic preganglionic neurons projecting to either the superior cervical ganglion or the adrenal medulla was investigated by combining retrograde tracing with the B subunit of cholera toxin and immunocytochemistry for serotonin. There were pronounced rostrocaudal variations in the density of serotonin fibres in the rabbit intermediolateral cell column from T1 to L4; maximum numbers of fibres were found in T3‐6 and L3–4 and minimum numbers in T1 and T10–12. By light microscopy, retrogradely labelled sympathetic preganglionic neurons projecting to the superior cervical ganglion or the adrenal medulla received variable densities of close appositions from serotonin‐immunoreactive fibres. Some neurons from each population received many close appositions, whereas others received moderate numbers or few appositions. Appositions occurred on the cell bodies, dendrites, and occasionally axons of sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Rare neurons in both groups of retrogradely labelled cells received no appositions from serotonin‐containing nerve fibres. At the ultrastructural level, synapses were found between serotonin‐positive boutons and sympathetic preganglionic neurons projecting either to the superior cervical ganglion or to the adrenal medulla. These results indicate that, through direct synaptic contacts, serotonin‐immunoreactive, presumably bulbospinal, nerve fibres affect the activity of the vast majority of sympathetic preganglionic neurons that send axons either to the superior cervical ganglion or to the adrenal medulla. This serotonin input may be sympathoexcitatory and could mediate increases in sympathetic nerve activity and in the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)427-438
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
    Volume353
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

    Keywords

    • blood pressure
    • cholera toxin B subunit
    • immunocytochemistry
    • spinal cord
    • ultrastructure

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