The existence of noradrenergic projections from the lateral reticular nucleus (LRt) to the dorsal quadrant of cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spinal cord was investigated using a combined method of WGA-apo-HRP-gold retrograde tracing and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) immunocytochemistry. Preliminary retrograde tracing studies indicated that LRt neurons projecting to cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spinal cord were characteristically located near the perimeter of the LRt. Double-labeling experiments demonstrated that a portion of these peripherally-located, spinal-projecting neurons were DBH-immunoreactive. Double-labeled neurons were also located at the parvocellular division of the contralateral LRt in the thoracic injection cases. Double-labeled neurons were not observed at the subtrigeminal division in cervical, thoracic, or lumbar injection case. The results suggest the possibility that the noradrenergic LRt-spinal pathway might be involved in a variety of pain processing and cardiovascular regulatory functions in the rat.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)