The distribution of serotonin immunoreactive (5-HT-IR) fibers in the trigeminal nuclear complex of the rat was mapped. In the sensory nuclei, innervation appeared to be dense in areas primarily related to nociceptive afferent activity, and sparse in areas primarily related to nonnociceptive afferent activity. Specifically, the marginal and gelatinosa layers of the spinal subnucleus caudalis contained many 5-HT-IR fibers while few labeled fibers were seen in the magnocellular portion of subnucleus caudalis or in the principal sensory nucleus. The spinal subnuclei oralis and interpolaris were sparsely innervated except for a few areas which contained more 5-HT-IR fibers. The motor nucleus contained as many immunoreactive fibers as the subnucleus caudalis, although fibers in the motor nucleus were thicker and varicosities more irregularly spaced than in caudalis.
- Trigeminal nuclear complex
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