Distribution of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity in the brain of the adult trout and tract-tracing observations on the connections of the nuclei of the isthmus.

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The distribution of cholinergic neurons and fibers was studied in the brain and rostral spinal cord of the brown trout and rainbow trout by using an antiserum against the enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Cholinergic neurons were observed in the ventral telencephalon, preoptic region, habenula, thalamus, hypothalamus, magnocellular superficial pretectal nucleus, optic tectum, isthmus, cranial nerve motor nuclei, and spinal cord. In addition, new cholinergic groups were detected in the vascular organ of the lamina terminalis, the parvocellular and magnocellular parts of the preoptic nucleus, the anterior tuberal nucleus, and a mesencephalic tegmental nucleus. The presence of ChAT in the magnocellular neurosecretory system of trout suggests that acetylcholine is involved in control of hormone release by neurosecretory terminals. In order to characterize the several cholinergic nuclei observed in the isthmus of trout, their projections were studied by application of 1,1;-dioctadecyl-3,3,3;, 3;-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) to selected structures of the brain. The secondary gustatory nucleus projected mainly to the lateral hypothalamic lobes, whereas the nucleus isthmi projected to the optic tectum and parvocellular superficial pretectal nucleus, as previously described in other teleost groups. In addition, other isthmic cholinergic nuclei of trout may be homologs of the mesopontine system of mammals. We conclude that the cholinergic systems of teleosts show many primitive features that have been preserved during evolution, together with characteristics exclusive to the group.


Animals, Carbocyanines, Central Nervous System, Cerebellum, Choline O-Acetyltransferase, Cholinergic Fibers, Diencephalon, Fluorescent Dyes, Medulla Oblongata, Mesencephalon, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Pons, Preoptic Area, Spinal Cord, Telencephalon

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Carbocyanines; Central Nervous System; Cerebellum; Choline O-Acetyltransferase; Cholinergic Fibers; Diencephalon; Fluorescent Dyes; Medulla Oblongata; Mesencephalon; Neural Pathways; Neurons; Oncorhynchus mykiss; Pons; Preoptic Area; Spinal Cord; Telencephalon

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The Journal of comparative neurology







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