alexa Ultrastructural interactions between terminals expressing the norepinephrine transporter and dopamine neurons in the rat and monkey ventral tegmental area.


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): Liprando LA, Miner LH, Blakely RD, Lewis DA, Sesack SR

Abstract Share this page

Abstract The norepinephrine (NE) system is implicated in the etiology and treatment of depression and drugs blocking the NE transporter (NET) are effective antidepressants. It is possible that dopamine (DA) also plays a role in depression and the action of antidepressant drugs, although the mechanisms whereby NE and DA interact have not been fully elaborated. We examined whether NE neurons might alter DA transmission via synaptic projections to cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) by using electron microscopic dual labeling immunocytochemistry in the rat and monkey. NET was used as a marker for NE axons, whereas the catecholamine synthetic enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), served as a label for DA neurons. We observed three types of spatial relationships between these profiles that were similar in type but varied in frequency between rodent and primate. The most common arrangement involved nonsynaptic appositions between NET-immunoreactive (-ir) axons and TH-ir dendrites. Such relationships may facilitate extrasynaptic actions of NE on DA cell activity. The other commonly observed arrangement involved adjacent profiles that were otherwise separated by glia. These relationships may represent regions where NE is prevented from reaching DA cells. In only a few cases were synapses observed between NET-ir axons and TH-ir dendrites. This finding suggests that NE can synaptically regulate DA neurons, although functional interactions are more likely to involve extrasynaptic mechanisms. Finally, in the VTA of both species the majority of NET-ir axons exhibited no detectable TH immunoreactivity. The latter finding agrees with observations in cortical regions and represents the first report of its type in a subcortical structure. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. This article was published in Synapse and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version