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Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 207, Issue 3, pp 233–253 | Cite as

Cyto- and chemoarchitecture of the hypothalamus of a wallaby (Macropus eugenii) with special emphasis on oxytocin and vasopressinergic neurons

  • Gang Cheng
  • L. R. Marotte
  • K. W. S. AshwellEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

We have studied the organization of the hypothalamus in an Australian diprotodontid metatherian mammal, the wallaby (Macropus eugenii), using cytoarchitectural, histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques. Coronal sections of adult brains were processed for Nissl staining, histochemical reactivity (cytochrome oxidase, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase and acetylcholinesterase) and immunohistochemistry (antibodies to tyrosine hydroxylase, calbindin, calretinin, non-phosphorylated neurofilament protein, oxytocin and vasopressin). The distribution of immunoreactive neurons for these substances was mapped with the aid of a computer-linked microscope. In general, the wallaby hypothalamus showed a similar nuclear organization to that seen in rodents. The paraventricular nucleus could be divided into several subdivisions based on the different cellular parcellation, similar to that described in rodents. The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus had cell-sparse dorsomedial and cell-dense ventrolateral subdivisions as seen in eutheria, suggesting a similar functional compartmentalization in all theria. The positions of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the wallaby hypothalamus were also similar to those in eutheria. Oxytocin and vasopressinergic neurons were found in all the same major nuclear groups as seen in eutheria, although a nucleus circularis could not be identified. The general similarities between wallaby and eutherian hypothalamus indicate that the basic chemo- and cytoarchitectural features of the hypothalamus are common to eutheria and metatheria and validate the use of the wallaby as a mammalian model of wide applicability in investigations of hypothalamic functional development.

Keywords

Marsupial Calbindin Calretinin Tyrosine hydroxylase Paraventricular 

Abbreviations

3v

third ventricle

ac

anterior commissure

AChE

acetylcholinesterase

AHA

anterior hypothalamic area

Amyg

amygdaloid nucleus

Ant

anterior region of the hypothalamus

Arc

arcuate nucleus

BST

bed nuclei of stria terminalis

bv

blood vessel

CB

calbindin

CO

cytochrome oxidase

cp

cerebral peduncle

CR

calretinin

DM

dorsomedial nuclear complex

fx

fornix

Gem

gemini hypothalamic nucleus

HDB

nuclei of the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca

ic

internal capsule

InfR

infundibular recess

InfS

infundibular stem

LGP

lateral globus pallidus

LH

lateral hypothalamic area

LM

lateral mammillary nucleus

LPO

lateral preoptic region

MB

mammillary body

MCLH

magnocellular nucleus of the lateral hypothalamus

MCPO

magnocellular preoptic nucleus

mfb

medial forebrain bundle

MGP

medial globus pallidus

ml

medial lemniscus

ML

lateral mammillary nucleus

MM

medial mammillary nucleus

MMn

median mammillary nucleus

MP

posterior mammillary nucleus

MPA

medial preoptic area

MPO

medial preoptic nucleus

MRe

mammillary recess

mt

mammillothalamic tract

mtg

mammillotegmental tract

MTu

medial tuberal nucleus

NADPHd

NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) diaphorase

ns

nigrostriatal bundle

ot

optic tract

ox

optic chiasm

Pa

paraventricular nucleus

Pe

periventricular nucleus

PeF

perifornical nucleus

PePO

periventricular preoptic area

PH

posterior hypothalamic nucleus

Pit

pituitary

PO

preoptic region of the hypothalamus

PSTh

parasubthalamic nucleus

RCh

retrochiasmatic area

Re

reuniens thalamic nucleus

Rt

reticular thalamic nucleus

SCh

suprachiasmatic nucleus

SI

substantia innominata

SM

nucleus of the stria medullaris

SMI-32

SMI-32 antibody against non-phosphorylated neurofilament protein

SMv

superior medullary velum

SO

supraoptic nucleus, in general

SOA

supraoptic nucleus, anterior part

SOR

supraoptic nucleus, retrochiasmatic part

STh

subthalamic nucleus

SuML

lateral supramammillary nucleus

SuMM

medial supramammillary nucleus

Te

terete nucleus

Th

thalamus

TH

tyrosine hydroxylase

Tu

tuberal region of the hypothalamus

VDB

nuclei of the vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca

VLPO

ventrolateral preoptic nucleus

VMH

ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus

VMPO

ventromedial preoptic nucleus

VMZ

ventral marginal zone

VP

ventral pallidum

VTM

ventral tuberomammillary region

Xi

xiphoid thalamic nucleus

ZI

zona incerta

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Dr. Luanling Zhang for his invaluable assistance in histochemical and immunohistochemical staining of some of the wallaby tissue, Emeritus Professor Richard Mark for correction of the manuscript, Mr. Kevin Williams and Ms. Michelle Maier for care of the wallaby colony and Dr. Roger Meischke for veterinary advice.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gang Cheng
    • 1
  • L. R. Marotte
    • 2
  • K. W. S. Ashwell
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of AnatomySchool of Medical Sciences of the University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Developmental Neurobiology and Endocrinology Group, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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