Distribution of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) cells and fibers in the monkey amygdaloid complex

A. Pitkanen, David G Amaral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The NADPH-d histochemical method stains a selective population of neurons in the central nervous system. Although the functional significance of the enzyme in these cells is unknown, it has nonetheless proved to be a useful marker. In the present study we describe the distribution of NADPH-d-positive cells and fibers in the amygdaloid complex of the Macaca fascicularis monkey. NADPH-d-positive neurons were distributed throughout the amygdaloid complex. Based on the intensity of the reaction product, three different types of NADPH-d positive cell were described: type 1 cells, the most intensely stained, varied in morphology and were most commonly found in the accessory basal, basal, and lateral nuclei and in the nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract; type 2 cells, the most common NADPH-d-positive cells, were more lightly stained, were generally stellate in shape, and were found in the lateral, basal, and accessory basal nuclei; type 3 cells were very lightly stained, oval or round in shape, and mostly found in the medial, anterior cortical, and paralaminar nuclei. NADPH-d staining was also associated with axonal fiber plexuses in various regions of the amygdala. The highest densities of stained fibers were found in the lateral nucleus, the parvicellular portion of the accessory basal nucleus, and the anterior amygdaloid area. The lowest densities of NADPH-d-positive fiber staining were found in the amygdalohippocampal area, in the lateral part of the central nucleus, and in the intercalated nuclei. In addition to the neuronal and fiber staining, a diffuse, blue neuropil staining was also observed, most commonly in the anterior cortical nucleus, the medial nucleus, the intercalated nuclei, and especially in the amygdalohippocampal area. The distribution of NADPH-d staining often respected nuclear boundaries within the amygdala and was particularly helpful in clarifying the borders of the amygdalohippocampal area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-348
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • amygdala
  • enzyme histochemistry
  • monkey
  • primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Distribution of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) cells and fibers in the monkey amygdaloid complex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this