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Localization of vasopressin-, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-, peptide histidine isoleucine-and somatostatin-mRNA in rat suprachiasmatic nucleus

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Messenger RNAs (mRNA) coding for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), peptide histidine isoleucine (PHI), somatostatin and vasopressin were localized in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the rat hypothalamus using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Specific mRNA coding for each of these peptides was distributed in areas coextensive with the immunohistochemical localization of the appropriate peptide. The autoradiographic signal produced with probes to VIP and PHI created dense concentrations of silver grains over neuronal perikarya in the ventrolateral SCN, and the coextensive distribution of both VIP-and PHI-mRNAs suggests that both peptides are synthesized within the same neurons. The distribution of somatostatin-mRNA was distinct from that of VIP and PHI. Labeled neurons are observed at the interface of the two SCN subdivisions and the distribution of these neurons is identical to those shown to contain somatostatin immunoreactivity. Vasopressin-mRNA is also differentially concentrated within neurons in the dorsomedial subdivision of the SCN in an area that is coextensive with vasopressin-immunoreactive perikarya. The discrete pattern of hybridization for each of these mRNAs indicates that each of these peptides are synthesized in SCN neurons and reaffirms the differential distribution of each of these chemically defined cell populations within cytoarchitecturally distinct subdivisions of the nucleus.

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Correspondence to Dr. J. Patrick Card.

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Card, J.P., Fitzpatrick-McElligott, S., Gozes, I. et al. Localization of vasopressin-, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-, peptide histidine isoleucine-and somatostatin-mRNA in rat suprachiasmatic nucleus. Cell Tissue Res. 252, 307–315 (1988).

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Key words

  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus
  • In situ hybridization histochemistry
  • Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide
  • Peptide histidine isoleucine
  • Somatostatin
  • Vasopressin
  • Rat (Sprague-Dawley)