The immunohistochemical distribution of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-like immunoreactivity (ir) in the cat medulla oblongata was examined using an antiserum to rat α-CGRP. Comparative distributions of substance P (SP)-like and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-like ir were also studied on sections adjacent to those stained for CGRP, and on sections simultaneously stained for CGRP by double staining techniques. The vast majority of ChAT-ir motoneurones in somatomotor or branchiomotor cranial nuclei (of VI, VII and XII nerves) and their accessory nuclei also displayed a coarsely granular CGRP-ir, shown by electron microscopic examination to represent immunoreactive Golgi bodies. The nucleus ambiguus (IX and X nerves), a mixed branchiomotor and visceromotor nucleus, showed CGRP-ir in a lower proportion of its motoneurones, whereas the purely visceromotor dorsal motor vagal nucleus (X nerve) contained no CGRP-ir cells. A few CGRP-ir but ChAT-negative cells were seen in the ventromedial reticular formation, lateral cuneate nucleus, infratrigeminal nucleus and nucleus of the solitary tract. Coarse, often varicose CGRP-ir fibres were most prominent in the X and IX cranial nerve rootlets, the spinal tract of the V nerve and the solitary tract, and also in the V spinal nucleus and nucleus of the solitary tract. Many of these also appeared to contain SP-ir. The central patterns of CGRP and SP-ir fibres thus reflect the previously reported coexistence of these peptides in sensory afferent cells of the trigeminal and nodose ganglia. These results are consistent with a role for CGRP as a transmitter or modulator in efferents to striated muscle, sensory afferents and intrinsic neurones in the cat brain stem.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy|
|Publication status||Published - 1988|