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Tachykinin immunoreactivity in terminals of trigeminal afferent fibers in adult and fetal monkey thalamus

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Immunocytochemistry of fetal and adult monkey thalamus reveals a dense concentration of tachykinin immunoreactive fibers and terminals in the dorsolateral part of the VPM nucleus in which the contralateral side of the head, face and mouth is represented. The immunoreactive fibers enter the VPM nucleus from the thalamic fasciculus and electron microscopy reveals that they form large terminals resembling those of lemniscal axons and terminating in VPM on dendrites of relay neurons and on presynaptic dendrites of interneurons. Double labeling strategies involving immunostaining for tachykinins after retrograde labeling of brainstem neurons projecting to the VPM failed to reveal the origin of the fibers. The brainstem trigeminal nuclei, however, are regarded as the most likely sources of the VPM-projecting, tachykinin positive fibers.

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ambiguus nucleus


abducens nucleus


cuneate nucleus


dorsal cochlear nucleus


central lateral nucleus


centre médian nucleus




dorsal raphe


dorsal vagal nucleus


external cuneate nucleus


medial longitudinal fasciculus


facial nucleus


gracile nucleus


gigantocellular reticular formation


hypoglossal nucleus


inferior cerebellar peduncle


inferior olivary complex


locus coeruleus


lateral lemniscus


medial lemniscus


motor trigeminal nucleus


solitary nucleus


superior olivary complex


dendritic protrusion


parabrachial nucleus


parvocellular reticular formation


anterior pulvinar nucleus


prepositus hypoglossi nucleus


presynaptic region


pyramidal tract


principal sensory trigeminal nucleus


reticular nucleus


reticular formation


lateral reticular nucleus


spinal trigeminal nucleus




spinal trigeminal tract


lateral vestibular nucleus


medial vestibular nucleus


basal ventral medial nucleus


ventral posterior inferior nucleus


ventral posterior lateral nucleus


ventral posterior medial nucleus


ventral raphe


superior vestibular nucleus


spinal vestibular nucleus


zona incerta


trigeminal nerve


abducens nerve


facial nerve


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Correspondence to E. G. Jones.

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Liu, X.-., Jones, E.G., Huntley, G.W. et al. Tachykinin immunoreactivity in terminals of trigeminal afferent fibers in adult and fetal monkey thalamus. Exp Brain Res 78, 479–488 (1989).

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Key words

  • Tachykinin
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Thalamus
  • Trigeminal
  • Monkey