Urotensin II-immunoreactivity in the brainstem and spinal cord of the rat

Neurosci Lett. 2001 Jun 1;305(1):9-12. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(01)01804-3.


The distribution of urotensin-II-immunoreactivity (irU-II) was studied in the rat brainstem and spinal cord with the use of an antiserum against the human urotensin II (U-II) peptide. A population of ventral horn neurons in the spinal cord, hypoglossal nucleus, dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, facial motor nucleus, nucleus ambiguus, abducens nucleus and trigeminal motor nucleus exhibited irU-II of varying intensities. The number of irU-II motor neurons was higher in the lumbar segments as compared to that of cervical, thoracic and sacral segments. Double-labeling the sections with U-II- and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-antisera revealed that nearly all irU-II ventral horn and brainstem neurons were ChAT-positive. The result provides the first immunohistochemical evidence of the presence of irU-II in cholinergic motoneurons of the rat spinal cord and brainstem.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Stem / cytology
  • Brain Stem / metabolism*
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Urotensins / metabolism*


  • Urotensins
  • urotensin II
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase