Vol 59, No 3 (2021)
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Published online: 2021-07-26

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Neuroanatomical distribution of the enkephalinergic and tachykininergic systems in the alpaca brainstem: an immunohistochemical study

Pablo Sánchez1, Manuel Lisardo Sánchez1, Arturo Mangas1, Eliana de Souza1, Luis Angel Aguilar2, Rafael Coveñas13
Pubmed: 34309826
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2021;59(3):145-156.


Introduction. A recent study has shown a close neuroanatomical relationship between the enkephalinergic (methionine-enkephalin) and tachykininergic (substance P) systems in the alpaca diencephalon. In this study, our aim is to show this relationship in the alpaca brainstem.

Material and methods. Using an immunohistochemical technique, the distribution of immunoreactive (Ir) fibers and cell bodies containing substance P (SP) or methionine-enkephalin (MET) has been studied in the alpaca brainstem. Five adult males were used; brain tissue was fixed and processed by standard methods.

Results. SP- and MET-Ir fibers showed a widespread and similar distribution in the mesencephalon, pons and medulla oblongata. The co-localization of fibers containing SP or MET was found in most of the nuclei/tracts of the alpaca brainstem. This close neuroanatomical relationship suggests multiple physiological interactions between both neuropeptides. The distribution of the cell bodies containing SP was very restricted (cell bodies were only observed in a few nuclei located in the mesencephalon and medulla oblongata), whereas MET-Ir perikarya showed a moderately widespread distribution in the mesencephalon, pons and medulla oblongata.

Conclusions. This study increases the knowledge on the neuroanatomical distribution/relationship of the tachykininergic (SP) and enkephalinergic (MET) systems in the alpaca central nervous system.

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