Noradrenergic innervation patterns in three regions of medial cortex: An immunofluorescence characterization

John Morrison, Mark E. Molli Ver, Reinhard Grzanna, Joseph T. Coyle

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48 Scopus citations


A homologous antiserum directed against rat dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) was used for the immunohistofluorescent visualization of the noradrenergic (NA) innervation of medial cortex in the albino rat. Three cytoarchitectonic divisions of the medial cortex were studied: prelimbic (PL), anterior cingulate (AC), and granular retrosplenial (RSg). Each division of medial cortex possesses a characteristic and distinct pattern and density of NA fibers. The branching patterns and density of the fibers in PL cortex are similar to those of lateral cortex. AC cortex has the lowest density of NA innervation found in the neocortex; there is minimal arborization in layer I, and a very low density of fibers in layers II and III. In contrast RSg is the most densely innervated region, and NA fibers arborize extensively throughout all layers. The dopaminergic (DA) fibers in medial cortex were studied with glyoxylic acid-induced histofluorescence following midbrain lesions of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB). A laminar complementarity exists in AC cortex such that the DA fibers terminate in layers I-III, while the NA fibers are largely confined to the deep layers. The distinctive patterns of termination of coeruleocortical fibers indicate that in different cortical areas NA axons contact different elements of neuronal circuitry and that there is some degree of specificity in the distribution of NA terminals within the cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-857
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Cingulate cortex
  • Dopamine
  • Dopamine-β-hydroxylase
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Monoamines
  • Norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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