Immunoreactivity corresponding to the C-terminus of the rat μ opiate receptor can be detected by light microscopy in fiber- and terminal-like patterns in a number of rat brain and spinal cord regions, and in immunoreactive perikarya in several of these regions. Especially abundant fiber-and terminal-like patterns were localized to superficial layers of the spinal cord dorsal horn and nucleus caudalis of the spinal tract of the trigeminal, the nucleus of the solitary tract, nucleus ambiguous, locus coeruleus, interpeduncular nucleus, medial aspect of the lateral habenular nucleus, presumed 'striasomes' of the caudate-putamen and nucleus accumbens. Moderate fiber and terminal densities were found in the ventral tegmental area, more medial aspects of the thalamus and hypothalamus, and several amygdaloid nuclei. Immunostained perikarya were prominent in the nucleus accumbens and also observed in the middle layers of the cerebral cortex, septum and diagonal band, preoptic area, medial thalamic and habenular nuclei, locus coeruleus, nucleus ambiguous, nucleus of the solitary tract, trigeminal nucleus caudalis, and spinal cord substantia gelatinosa zones. Many of these localizations correspond well with the previously-determined autoradiographic distributions of μ opiate receptor ligand binding, and with reports of μ opiate receptor immunoreactivity determined using other antisera. Electron microscopic immunohistochemical studies reveal details of the membrane distribution of the μ receptor in nucleus accumbens, caudate/putamen, locus coeruleus, and spinal cord. These results suggest largely neuronal and largely extrasynaptic distributions of μ receptors that show differential patterns of perikaryal, dendritic, and/or axonal immunostaining in different central nervous system zones. Identification of these distributions adds substantially to data identifying the cellular localization of the principal opiate receptor involved in both analgesic and addictive processes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - Nov 1996|
- μ opiate receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas