Enkephalin immunoreactivity in synaptoid elements on glial cells in the rat neural lobe

Neuroscience. 1983;8(2):229-41. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(83)90062-3.


Opioid peptides were localized in fibres of the rat neural lobe using various immunocytochemical methods at the light- and electron-microscopical level. Leu-enkephalin immunoreactivity was present in beaded fibres distributed throughout the neural lobe. These fibres surround the neurohypophyseal glial cells (pituicytes) and make synaptoid contacts upon their soma and processes. The reaction product was localized both in dense-core vesicles of about 100 nm in diameter and diffusely spread over the cytoplasm. No arguments in support of the co-existence of enkephalins and the neurohypophyseal hormones vasopressin and oxytocin in the same terminal were found. It is suggested that pituicytes might mediate the inhibitory effect of opiod peptides on vasopressin and oxytocin release from the neural lobe.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine Vasopressin / metabolism
  • Enkephalin, Leucine / metabolism*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Fibers / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Oxytocin / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism


  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Oxytocin
  • Enkephalin, Leucine