The bed nuclei of the stria terminalis (BST) and the central nucleus of the amygdala are highly heterogeneous structures, which form one functional unit, the so-called extended amygdala. Several studies described increased c-fos expression following acute stress in this brain area, confirming its central role in the modulation/regulation of stress responses. The oval nucleus of the BST and the central amygdala exhibit a dense network of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)-immunoreactive (ir) fiber terminals. In addition, several dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein (DARPP-32)-immunoreactive neurons were also observed here. Because the extended amygdala plays an important role in the central autonomic regulation during stress and the distribution of PACAP-ir and that of DARPP-32-ir nervous structures overlap, the aims of this study were to investigate the possible activation of DARPP-32-ir neurons following acute systemic stress and to demonstrate synaptic interactions between DARPP-32-ir neurons and fiber terminals immunopositive for PACAP. In summary, this study provided morphological evidence that acute stress resulted in the activation of DARPP-32 neurons, which were innervated by PACAP-ir neuronal structures in the extended amygdala. Furthermore, interaction between neuropeptides/neurotransmitters and phosphoproteins was also demonstrated.
- Fos immunoreactivity
- Hyperosmotic stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience