Effects of oxotremorine on neuronal RNA and chromatin in thalamic cholinoceptive sites

Lee J. Martin, Joe D. Morse, Gary A. Pritchard, Young H. Kim, Adam Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuronal nucleic acid responses were examined within the rat thalamic ventro-basal nuclear complex (VBC) and nucleus reticularis (NR) following single intraperitoneal injections of the central muscarinic-cholinergic (M2) receptor agonist oxotremorine (0.1, 0.7, or 1.0 mg/kg). After stoichiometric azure B and Feulgen staining of brain sections, scanning-integrating cytophotometry was used to quantify azure B-ribonucleic acid (RNA) content, Feulgen-DNA levels, and changes in the susceptibility of chromatin to Feulgen acid hydrolysis (F-DNA yield) of neurons on an individual basis. Changes in neuronal nucleolar volume were also determined histometrically. Within the VBC, oxotremorine produced marked dose-dependent elevations in neuronal RNA content and nucleolar volume with increased F-DNA yield (chromatin activation) in a proportion of VBC neurons. In contrast, within the NR, oxotremorine elicited reductions in RNA levels, F-DNA yield and nucleolar volume. The data demonstrate that oxotremorine-induced central muscarinic receptor stimulation is associated with metabolic correlates of thalamic VBC neuroexcitation and NR neuron depression. The overall study lends further credence to the hypothesis that muscarinic-cholinergic mechanisms are operative within the mammalian thalamus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Central muscarinic stimulation
  • Chromatin
  • Muscarinic receptor agonists
  • Oxotremorine
  • Quantitative Feulgen-DNA and azure B-RNA cytophotometry
  • RNA
  • Thalamic cholinoceptive sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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