Organization of histamine-containing neurons in the brain of the crested newt, Triturus carnifex
Abstract The distribution of immunoreactivity for histamine was studied in the brain of the urodele Triturus carnifex using the indirect immunofluorescence method. Histamine-immunoreactive cell bodies were localized in the caudal hypothalamus within the dorsolateral walls of the infundibular recesses. These immunoreactive cell bodies were pear-shaped, bipolar and frequently of the cerebrospinal-fluid-contacting type. Histaminergic nerve fibers were detected in almost all parts of the brain. Dense innervation was seen in the telencephalic medial pallium and ventral striatum, the neuropil of the preoptic area, the septum, the paraventricular organ, the posterior commissure, the caudal hypothalamus, the ventral and lateral mesencephalic tegmentum. Medium density innervation was observed in the lateral mesencephalic tegmentum and optic tectum. Poor innervation was present in the telencephalic dorsal pallium and in the central gray of the medulla oblongata. Few fibers occurred in the olfactory bulbs and in the telencephalic lateral pallium. Double immunofluorescence staining, using an antibody against tyrosine hydroxylase, showed that histamine-immunostained somata and those containing tyrosine-hydroxylase-like immunoreactivity were co-distributed in the tuberal hypothalamus. No co-occurrence of histamine-like and tyrosine hydroxylase-like immunostaining was seen in the same neuron. The pattern of histamine-immunoreactive neurons in the newt was similar to that described in other vertebrates. Our observations, carried out on the apparently simplified brain of the newt confirm that the basic histaminergic system is well conserved throughout vertebrates.
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