Opioid peptide enkephalin: immunohistochemical mapping in rat central nervous system

R. Simantov, M. J. Kuhar, G. R. Uhi, S. H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

528 Scopus citations


Using specific antisera to methionine-enkephalin and leucine-enkephalin, apparent enkephalin-containing neuronal fibers and terminals throughout the central nervous system of the rat were visualized. Immunoreactive enkephalin displays sharply defined localizations. Regions of highest immunofluorescent density include the laminae I and II of the spinal cord, the substantia gelatinosa of the caudal nucleus of nerve V, the vagal nuclei of the medulla, the periventricular and periaqueductal areas of the upper medulla and midbrain, dorsomedial thalamic regions, specific hypothalamic nuclei, the basal ganglia, particularly the globus pallidus and the central nucleus of the amygdala, and the lateral septum. In certain regions enkephalin immunofluorescence corresponds closely with the distribution of autoradiographic opiate receptor grains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2167-2171
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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