Vital staining of specific monoamine-containing cells in the leech nervous system
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- Stuart, A.E., Hudspeth, A.J. & Hall, Z.W. Cell Tissue Res. (1974) 153: 55. doi:10.1007/BF00225445
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Neutral red and several related dyes selectively stain certain cells in the ventral nerve cord of the leech. These cells are identical with those that can be shown by the FalckHillarp fluorescence technique to contain serotonin or a catecholamine; evidence suggests that the catecholamine is dopamine. Although the mechanism of staining remains unknown, it does not depend on active uptake of the dye. Stained cells in ganglia that were incubated for 12 hours in culture medium retained their normal physiological properties. Thus neutral red may be useful for locating specific monoamine-containing neurons in living nervous tissue.