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(Reference retrieved automatically from SciELO through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Evidence that urocortin is absent from neurons of the Edinger-Westphal nucleus in pigeons

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J.A. Cavani ; A. Reiner ; S.L. Cuthbertson ; J.C. Bittencourt ; C.A.B. Toledo
Total Authors: 5
Document type: Journal article
Source: Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research; v. 36, n. 12, p. 1695-1700, Dez. 2003.

The Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EWN) is a central preganglionic parasympathetic cell group that gives rise to cholinergic input to the ciliary ganglion, thereby regulating several neurovegetative ocular functions. Recently, the supposed presence of the neuropeptide urocortin (UCN) has been reported in EWN neurons in rodent brain. The purpose of the present study was to examine the distribution of UCN in avian brain and to investigate by immunohistochemical analysis the possible use of this substance as an EWN marker in a non-mammalian class of vertebrates. Brain tissue of pigeons was incubated with a specific antibody against UCN and the results showed labeling of many small neurons, forming a double wing in the dorsal mesodiencephalic transition area. Their size and shape, however, differed from those of EWN neurons, and they were preferentially located rostral to the EWN. Double-label experiments employing an antibody against the enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) showed that UCN is not localized to the cholinergic cells of the EWN and confirmed the rostral distributionof UCN never overlapping the ChAT+ EWN cells. Taken together, these results suggest that, at least in pigeons, the UCN+ population does not belong to the traditionally defined EWN. (AU)