Ultrastructural localization of GABA in the supraoptic nucleus and neural lobe

Neuroscience. 1987 Jan;20(1):347-55. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(87)90025-x.


Antibodies directed against the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) enabled the ultrastructural localization of GABA in conventional glutaraldehyde fixed and osmium postfixed material of the rat supraoptic nucleus and neural lobe. GABA was visualized using immunogold postembedding staining in axonal profiles that terminate on dendrites, axons or cell bodies throughout the supraoptic nucleus. The optimum ultrastructural preservation made possible the visualization of GABA terminals, also in the neural lobe. Here GABA axons were found to terminate synaptically on pituicytes and axonal profiles containing large dense core vesicles. These results emphasize, from an anatomical point of view, the potency of GABA to influence, as a transmitter, the release of vasopressin and oxytocin, both at the level of the cell body and of the neural lobe.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine Vasopressin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Oxytocin / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior / metabolism*
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior / ultrastructure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Supraoptic Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Supraoptic Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Oxytocin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid