Distinct regional patterns in noradrenergic innervation of the rat prefrontal cortex.
Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. 2019-01-07; 96: 102-109
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Cerpa JC(1), Marchand AR(1), Coutureau E(2).
(1)CNRS, Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, UMR 5287, 33076 Bordeaux, France; Universite de Bordeaux, 33076 Bordeaux, France.
(2)CNRS, Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine, UMR 5287, 33076 Bordeaux, France; Universite de Bordeaux, 33076 Bordeaux, France. .
The anatomy and functions of the rodent prefrontal cortex (PFC) have been extensively studied. It is now clear that the PFC is at the core of various executive functions and that these functions depend on monoaminergic neuromodulation. The PFC receives extensive projections from monoaminergic nuclei and, in particular, from the locus cœruleus (LC) which is the major source of noradrenaline (NA) in the cortex. Projections of this nucleus have long been considered to act diffusely and uniformly throughout the entire brain. However, recent studies have revealed a separate innervation of prefrontal sub-regions by non-collateralizing LC neurons, suggesting a specific modulation of their functions. Following this idea, we aimed at describing more precisely the pattern of noradrenergic innervation into different orbital (OFC) and medial (mPFC)
sub-regions of the PFC. We focused on the lateral (LO), ventral (VO) and medial (MO) portions of the OFC, and on areas 32d (A32d), 32v (A32v) and 25 (A25) in the mPFC. Using Dopamine-β-Hydroxylase as a specific noradrenergic marker, we
performed an automatic quantification of noradrenergic fibers and varicosities in each of these sub-regions. The results indicate that noradrenergic innervation is heterogeneous in some prefrontal sub-regions along the rostro-caudal axis. Functional dissociations have been recently reported in prefrontal sub-regions along the rostro-caudal direction. Our findings add neuroanatomical support to this emergent idea.
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