Co-localization of choline acetyltransferase and tyrosine hydroxylase within neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus

J Chem Neuroanat. 1990 Mar-Apr;3(2):133-40.


In the present study, we employed a dual-immunofluorescent labeling procedure to determine if the biosynthetic enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) are co-localized within neurons in the dorsal medulla of rat. Within this region TH-labeled neurons are distributed within the nuclei of the solitary tracts and medial aspect of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. The absence of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity within TH-labeled cells in the medial portion of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus suggests that these neurons are dopaminergic. Cholinergic perikarya also are present in the dorsal medulla and are distributed throughout the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus and hypoglossal nucleus. Of these ChAT-positive perikarya, a small percentage limited to the medial aspect of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (i.e., corresponding to the location of dopamine neurons) also contain TH. The existence of TH within ChAT-positive neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus provides an anatomical substrate with which to suggest that catecholaminergic and cholinergic fibers contribute to the vagus nerve and may serve to explain some of the cardiac and gastric effects resulting from systemic administration of catecholamine agents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Fibers / enzymology
  • Adrenergic Fibers / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Cholinergic Fibers / enzymology
  • Cholinergic Fibers / physiology*
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Medulla Oblongata / cytology
  • Medulla Oblongata / enzymology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*
  • Vagus Nerve / cytology
  • Vagus Nerve / enzymology*


  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase