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Systematic presence of GABA-immunoreactivity in the tubero-infundibular and tubero-hypophyseal dopaminergic axonal systems: an ultrastructural immunogold study on several mammals

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Summary

Immunoreactivities for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and, in some cases, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) were detected by light and electron microscopy in axons projecting into the median eminence and pituitary gland of various mammals (rats, mice, guinea pigs, cats, rabbits and hares). Light microscope immunoperoxidase reactions were performed on adjacent semithin sections of plasticembedded samples. In the median eminence external zone, the distributions of the TH- and GAD- or GABA-immunoreactive endings were very similar in the anterior and lateral areas, while medially the GABA-labelled endings predominated. Comparable distribution patterns were found in the various species examined. In the pituitary gland, the distributions of GABA- and TH- immunoreactivities were superimposable in the intermediate lobes of all species examined, except in the rabbit and hare in which both types of innervation were lacking. For electron microscopy, the immunogold procedure was applied to sections of lowicryl-embedded samples; simultaneous detection of GABA- and TH-immunoreactivities was enabled by recto-verso double labelling with gold particles of distinct diameters. In the median eminence, GABA-immunoreactivity occurred systematically in the TH-positive endings, while distinct GABA-positive/TH-negative axons were also detected. In the intermediate lobe, the colocalization of TH- and GABA-immunoreactivities was a constant feature of the axons innervating the melanotrophic cells in all the species examined, except in the Leporidae. The functional significance of this colocalization remains to be determined.

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Correspondence to S. Schimchowitsch.

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Schimchowitsch, S., Vuillez, P., Tappaz, M.L. et al. Systematic presence of GABA-immunoreactivity in the tubero-infundibular and tubero-hypophyseal dopaminergic axonal systems: an ultrastructural immunogold study on several mammals. Exp Brain Res 83, 575–586 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00229836

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Key words

  • Intermediate lobe
  • Median eminence
  • GABA
  • Dopamine
  • Colocalization
  • Mammal