Scientific article

Distribution of tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive neurons in the diencephalon of the pigeon (Columba livia domestica)

Published inJournal of comparative neurology, vol. 257, no. 3, p. 333-346
Publication date1987

The distribution of tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive cell bodies and fibers in the diencephalon has been investigated with immunohistological techniques in the pigeon. The results suggest that TH is present in a number of morphologically distinct neuronal systems. Preoptic and hypothalamic TH neurons were subdivided into a medial periventricular and a lateral group. The medial group starts with a rostral collection of small cells in the preoptic region. A significantly larger collection of TH neurons occupies the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) (stratum cellulare internum) and mainly consists of large multipolar cells. Further caudally, the main concentration of cells is in the hypothalamic posteromedial and the periventricular regions of the tuberoinfundibular (arcuate) nucleus. No TH neuron was found in the ventral and lateral parts of the tuberoinfundibular region, suggesting that the prominent tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic system described in mammals is absent in the pigeon. This further substantiated by the relative scarcity of TH immunoreactive fibers and varicosities in the neurohemal zone of the median eminence (ME). The caudalmost components of the medial group appear to be continuous with the large population of TH neurons distributed in the midline of the mesencephalon. Tyrosine-hydroxylase-immunopositive cells have not been found in the paraventricular organ. The lateral group consists of TH neurons loosely arranged in the lateral hypothalamus, including regions of the supraoptic nucleus and hypothalamic posterolateral nucleus. Tyrosine-hydroxylase containing neurons vary widely in size, shape, and dendritic arborization in each diencephalic region. However, it is possible to distinguish two main cell types. Small bipolar neurons with two simple arborizing dendrites were concentrated in the medial periventricular system. The second type of cell is large, multipolar with four to five branching dendrites. This latter cell type occurs mainly in the lateral system and in the PVN. Major fiber bundles containing TH immunoreactivity were identified in the lateral and periventricular hypothalamus. The paraventricular organ and the organum vasculosum laminae terminalis contained the densest arborization of fibers and varicosities. In the ME, dense innervation was found in the subependymal layer. Dense arborizations of TH positive fibers and varicosities were located in the septal nuclei and the paleostriatum augmentatum.

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Catecholamines/metabolism
  • Columbidae/anatomy & histology/metabolism
  • Diencephalon/cytology/enzymology
  • Female
  • Hypothalamus/cytology/enzymology
  • Male
  • Neurons/classification/enzymology
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase/metabolism
Citation (ISO format)
KISS, Jozsef Zoltan, PÉCZELY, P. Distribution of tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive neurons in the diencephalon of the pigeon (Columba livia domestica). In: Journal of comparative neurology, 1987, vol. 257, n° 3, p. 333–346. doi: 10.1002/cne.902570303
ISSN of the journal0021-9967

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