Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 231–240 | Cite as

Substance P-containing hypothalamic afferents to the monkey hippocampus: an immunocytochemical, tracing, and coexistence study

  • Robert Nitsch
  • Casaba Leranth
Original Paper


In order to identify the synaptic connections of substance P-containing afferents within the hypothalamo-hippocampal projection of the monkey, we performed a combined light and electron microscopic, immunocytochemical study, made lesions of the fimbriafornix, and employed retrograde tracing using WGA-HRP. Furthermore, coexistence studies for substance P and GAD were performed to identify the putative transmitters of these hypothalamic projection neurons. A plexus of large substance P-immunoreactive terminals was identified in both the innermost portion of the molecular layer and in CA2. Axon terminals in both plexuses established exclusively asymmetric synapses with spines and dendritic shafts. Substance P-immuno-reactive boutons were degenerating 5 days after lesioning, and had disappeared 10 days after ipsilateral fimbria-fornix transection. Thus, these terminals were of extrinsic origin. In contrast, immunoreactive fibers in the outer third of the dentate molecular layer remained unaffected by the lesion. Retrograde tracing combined with immunostaining for substance P revealed the parent cell bodies of the extrinsic substance P-containing afferents in the supramammillary nucleus. Colocalization studies employing a consecutive semi-thin sections technique indicate that these large substance P-containing projection neurons lack GABA as an inhibitory transmitter. These results suggest that hypothalamic afferents of the monkey hippocampus contain substance P. Because these afferents lack GABA as an inhibitory transmitter and establish exclusively asymmetric synapses, this projection may excite hippocampal target neurons.

Key words

Hippocampus WGA-HRP Fimbria-fornix lesion GABAergic neurons Monkey 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Nitsch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Casaba Leranth
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of AnatomyHumboldt University Clinic (Charité)BerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologySchool of Medicine, Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Section of NeurobiologySchool of Medicine, Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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