The distribution of nitric oxide producing neurones in the medulla oblongata of the cat was investigated using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-diaphorase histochemistry, and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) immunohistochemistry. The pattern of staining obtained with both methods was found to be similar. Strongly diaphorase and NOS reactive neurones were present in the paramedian and lateral tegmental fields, including the regions occupied by the Al/C1 catecholamine cell groups, the nucleus ambiguus and lateral reticular nucleus, and in a number of sensory nuclei including the nucleus of the tractus solitarius and the dorsal column nuclei. The extent of co-localization of NADPH-diaphorase with a number of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters was investigated by combining NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry with immunocytochernisty for neuropeptide Y, somatostatin, glutamate, cholecystokinin and tyrosine hydroxylase. NADPH-diaphorase reaction product was observed in neurones immunoreactive for glutamate and somatostatin. These double-labelled cells were found in the paramedian region, lateral reticular field, the nucleus prepositus hypoglossi and in the rostral nucleus of the tractus solitarius. In the rostral ventrolateral medulla NADPH-diaphorase/somatostatin immunoreactive cells were found in the paragigantocellular nucleus. NADPHdiaphorase/glutamate immunoreactive cells overlapped the nucleus ambiguus, the lateral reticular nucleus and the A1/C1 catecholaminergic cell groups. In addition, a few NADPH-diaphorase/glutamate immunoreactive cells were found in the paraolivary area and gigantocellular tegmental field, in the external cuneate and infratrigerninal nuclei. The functional implications of the co-localization of nitric oxide with these neurotransmitters in areas of the medulla concerned with cardiovascular regulation is discussed.
- Neuropeptide Y