Immunocytochemical distribution of Met-enkephalin-Arg6-Gly 7-Leu8 (Met-8) in the auditory system of the rat

Luis A. Aguilar, Manuel S. Malmierca, Rafael Coveñas, Enrique A. López-Poveda, Gérard Tramu, Miguel Merchán

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Methionine-enkephalin-Arg6-Gly7-Leu8 (Met8) is known to act as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator and it has been implicated in pain, cardiovascular and motor mechanisms, but its role in audition is currently unknown. In the present study we have applied an immunocytochemical technique and describe the distribution of cell bodies and fibers containing Met8 in the auditory pathway of the rat. The main finding is that we found either Met8-immunoreactive fibers or cell bodies or both in virtually all nuclei of the rat auditory system except for the medial superior olive and the ventral division of the medial geniculate body in which we did not find any immunoreactivity for Met8. This suggests that the neuropeptide Met8 is widely distributed throughout the auditory system of the rat. Our results suggest that Met8 could play at least two roles in hearing. It seems to be involved in the processing of the descending auditory pathway, and it may be implicated in the multisensory integration of auditory information that takes place in the non-lemniscal auditory pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Volume187
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cochlear nuclear complex
  • Cortex
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Pro-enkephalin
  • Superior olivary complex
  • Thalamus

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