The projection of noradrenergic neurons in the A7 catecholamine cell group to the spinal cord in the rat demonstrated by anterograde tracing combined with immunocytochemistry

Brain Res. 1991 May 3;547(2):279-88. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(91)90972-x.


Noradrenergic neurons located in the A5, A7 and locus coeruleus/subcoeruleus (LC/SC) catecholamine cell groups innervate all levels of the spinal cord. However, the specific spinal cord terminations of these neurons have not been clearly delineated. This study determined the spinal cord terminations of the A7 catecholamine cell group using the anterograde tracer Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) in combination with dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) immunocytochemistry. In addition, the spinal cord projections of A7 neurons were examined by measuring the reduction in the density of DBH-immunoreactive axons in specific regions of the spinal cord after a unilateral electrolytic lesion of the A7 cell group. The results of these experiments indicate that noradrenergic neurons in the A7 cell group project primarily in the ipsilateral dorsolateral funiculus and terminate most heavily in the dorsal horn (laminae I-IV).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / analysis
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neural Pathways / cytology
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • Norepinephrine / analysis*
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • Pons / chemistry
  • Pons / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Spinal Cord / chemistry
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*


  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • leukoagglutinins, plants
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase
  • Norepinephrine