Immunohistochemical mapping of natriuretic peptide receptor-A in the brainstem of Macaca fascicularis

Neuroscience. 2007 Mar 30;145(3):1087-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2006.12.062. Epub 2007 Feb 9.


Natriuretic peptide receptor-A (NPR-A) mediates the biological effects of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), and is involved in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis. In this immunohistochemical study we examined the distribution of NPR-A in the brainstem of the cynomolgus monkey. NPR-A immunoreactivity was localized to neurons in specific brainstem regions. NPR-A-immunoreactive perikarya were found in the red nucleus and the oculomotor nucleus in the midbrain, the parabrachial nucleus and the locus coeruleus in the pons, and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, the hypoglossal nucleus, the cuneate nucleus, the gracile nucleus, the nucleus ambiguus, the lateral reticular nucleus, the reticular formation, and the inferior olivary nucleus in the medulla oblongata. Extensive networks of immunoreactive fibers were apparent in the red nucleus, the oculomotor nucleus, the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus, and the parabrachial nucleus. Double immunostaining revealed NPR-A immunoreactivity in cholinergic neurons of the parabrachial nucleus, the dorsal motor nucleus of vagus, the hypoglossal nucleus, and the nucleus ambiguus. However, there was no colocalization of NPR-A and tyrosine hydroxylase in the locus coeruleus. The wide anatomical distribution of NPR-A-immunoreactive structures suggests that natriuretic peptides, besides having a role in the central regulation of endocrine and cardiovascular homeostasis, may also mediate diverse physiological functions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology
  • Brain Stem / cytology
  • Brain Stem / physiology*
  • Guanylate Cyclase / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Mesencephalon / cytology
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / metabolism
  • Pons / cytology
  • Pons / physiology
  • Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism*


  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • Guanylate Cyclase
  • Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • atrial natriuretic factor receptor A