A dorsomedial subdivision within the nucleus intercollicularis identified in the Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) by means of α2-adrenergic receptor autoradiography and estrogen receptor immunohistochemistry

G. F. Ball, A. Foidart, J. Balthazart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The nucleus intercollicularis is an important site in the control of vocalization in birds. In oscines, a subregion of the nucleus intercollicularis called the dorso-medial intercollicular nucleus appears to play a key role in this process because it receives the majority of the projections from the nucleus robustus archistriatalis and sends most of the projections to the motor nucleus of the hypoglossal nerve. In this paper, we present neurochemical studies of the nucleus intercollicularis in the Japanese quail which suggest the presence of heterogeneity within this structure. One rostral band contains high densities of cholinergic muscarinic receptors identified by quantitative autoradiography using tritiated N-methylscopolamine as the ligand. A caudal dorso-medial region is specifically labeled by estrogen receptors identified using immunocytochemistry and by α2-adrenergic receptors which were quantified by autoradiography using tritiated para-amino-clonidine. This latter sub-region is possibly equivalent to the dorso-medial intercollicular nucleus of oscines. Additional track-tracing studies should be performed to confirm this homology. The coexistence of estrogen and α2-adrenergic receptors within the same structure suggests important functional connections between steroid action and catecholaminergic systems in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1989



  • Estrogen receptors
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica (Aves, Phasianiformes)
  • Nucleus intercollicularis
  • Quantitative autoradiography
  • α-Adrenergic receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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