Somatostatin receptors: Distribution in rat central nervous system and human frontal cortex

George R. Uhl, Vinh Tran, Solomon H. Snyder, Joseph B. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Somatostatins are a brain peptide family centered on a 14‐amino acid cyclic peptide (SS‐14) and a 28‐amino acid N‐terminally extended form (SS‐28). Using radioiodinated analogs of SS‐14 and SS‐28, we have identified specific binding sites in rat and human brain sections that display pharmacological properties anticipated for somatostatin receptors and discrete patterns of anatomical localization. High binding densities are found in many forebrain regions, with special densities in infragranular cerebral cortical laminae in rat and human brain. In the rat, other densities lie in olfactory zones, lateral and triangular septal nuclei, the CA‐1 hippocampal region, and claustrum with moderate densities in the striatum. Discrete hypothalamic areas, especially the median preoptic, paraventricular, and periventricular nuclei, display elevated binding levels, while the thalamus shows only scattered areas of modest binding. Midbrain receptor concentrations are found in portions of the periaqueductal gray, interpeduncular nucleus, and the substantia nigra. Notable pontine and medullary densities lie in the locus coeruleus, fourth ventricular floor, parabrachial, solitary, prepositus hypoglossal, dorsal column, and caudal trigeminal zones. Although the cerebellar cortex shows unimpressive densities, each of the deep cerebellar nuclei is heavily labeled. Modest spinal cord receptor densities are concentrated in the substantia gelatinosa and central cord regions. These localizations show many parallels with the distributions of SS‐immunoreactive neurons, fibers, and terminals determined previously by immunohistochemistry. They provide plausible loci for several reported physiological or pharmacological activities of the SS‐peptides, and may improve understanding of the role of the SS alterations described in several human neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-304
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 15 1985


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cerebral cortex
  • hypothalamus
  • neuropeptides
  • receptor autoradiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Somatostatin receptors: Distribution in rat central nervous system and human frontal cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this