Indexed on: 07 Jun '05Published on: 07 Jun '05Published in: General and Comparative Endocrinology
The present paper describes neuropeptide Y-like-immunoreactive (NPY-ir) structures in the brain of the spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus, with special regard to their anatomical relations to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-ir structures in the hypothalamus and the terminal nerve (TN). NPY-ir cells were found in various locations including the TN, the medial zone of the area dorsalis telencephali, the ventral nucleus of the area ventralis telencephali, the habenula, the dorsal posterior nucleus, the periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, the posterior tubercle, the optic tectum, and the lateral part of the tegmentum. NPY-ir fibers were widely distributed throughout the brain except for the cerebellum. They were locally dense in the ventral telencephalon, in the periventricular gray matter of the thalamus and the hypothalamus, and in the ventromedial part of the brainstem, but sparse in the olfactory system. Light-microscopic double immunohistochemistry demonstrated distinct NPY-ir and GnRH-ir structures in the ventral hypothalamus: the NPY-ir system was associated mainly with the periventricular gray matter, whereas the GnRH-ir system was prominent in the external zone of the preoptico-tubero-infundibular area including the median eminence (ME). Here, NPY-ir varicose fibers occasionally abutted on GnRH-ir cells and varicosities or invested GnRH-ir cells, suggesting that NPY directly regulates the function of the hypothalamic GnRHergic neuron system. On the other hand, the TN cells and fibers in the olfactory system were doubly labeled by the antibodies against NPY and GnRH. Immuno-electron-microscopic data strongly suggested that some of the TN fibers projected to the ME.