Neurotransmitters in the Amygdala: A Brief Review

  • P. C. Emson
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 16)


At a major conference on the amygdala held in 1972 (Elefethriou 1972) the total number of putative transmitters known to be present in the amygdala was three. These were noradrenaline, serotonin and acetylcholine (Eidelberg and Woodbury 1972). Only in the case of the cholinergic system, where acetylcholinesterase staining had been carried out (Shute and Lewis, 1967) was there any data on regional distribution within the amygdala. Since this date a number of studies, primarily in the rat, have examined the distribution of neurotransmitters within the amygdala. In this brief review an attempt has been made to summarize recent data from our laboratory on the amino acid distribution in the rat amygdala and also to present data on the distribution of putative peptide neurotransmitters within the amygdala.


Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Central Nucleus Piriform Cortex Stria Terminalis Medial Nucleus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Azmitia, E., 1978, The serotonin producing neurons of the median and dorsal raphe, in “Handbook of Psychopharmacology (L.L. Iversen, S.D. Iversen and S.H. Snyder, eds.) (in press).Google Scholar
  2. Ben-Ari,Y., Le Gal La Salle, G., Emson, P., Barbin, G., and Garbarg, M., 1977, Neurochemical mapping of transmitter candidate systems in the amygdaloid complex and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of the rat, Proc. International Physiological Sciences, Vol. XIII, Abst. 177.Google Scholar
  3. Brownstein, M., Palkovitz, M., Saavedra, J., Bassiri, R., and Utiger, R., 1974, Thyrotropin releasing hormone in specific nuclei of the brain. Science 185: 267–269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brownstein, M.J., Palkovitz, M., Saavedra, J.M., and Kizer, J.S., 1975, Tryptophan hydroxylase in the rat brain, Brain Research 97: 163–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Conrad, L., Leonard, C., and Pfaff, D., 1974, Connections of the median and dorsal raphe nuclei in the rat. An autoradiographic and degeneration study. J. comp Neurol. 156: 179–206.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Egger, M.D., 1972, Amygdaloid-hypothalamic neurophysiological interrelationships, in “The Neurobiology of the Amygdala”, (B.E. Eleftheriou, ed.), Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Eidelberg, E., and Woodbury, C.M., 1972, Electrical activity in the amygdala and its modification by drugs. Possible nature of synaptic transmission, a review in “Neurobiology of the Amygdala”, (B.E. Eleftheriou, ed.), Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Eleftheriou, B.E., 1972, Neurobiology of the amygdala, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Emson, P.C., Paxinos, G., Jessell, T.M., and Cuello, A.C., 1978, Substance P in the amygdaloid complex, bed nucleus and stria terminalis system of the rat brain, Brain Research (submitted for publication).Google Scholar
  10. Emson, P.C., Paxinos, G., and Bjørklund, A., 1978, Effects of ventral amygdofugal pathway and stria terminalis lesions on the distribution of 5-hydroxytryptamine, dopamine and noradrenaline in the amygdaloid nuclei. A histochemical and biochemical study, (in preparation).Google Scholar
  11. Epelbaum, J., Brazeau, J., Tsang, D., Brawer, J., and Martin, J.B., 1977, Subcellular distribution of radioimmunoassayable somatostatin in rat brain, Brain Research 126: 309–323.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fuxe, K., Hökfelt, T., Said, S.I., and Mutt, V., 1977, Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and the nervous system: immunohisto- chemical evidence for localization in central and peripheral neurons particularly intracortinal neurons of the cerebral cortex, Neuroscience Letters, (in press).Google Scholar
  13. Hökfelt, T., Johansson, O., Kellerth, J.O., Ljungdahl, A., Nilsson, G., Nyards, A., and Pernow, B., 1977, Immunohistochemical distribution of substance P, in “Substance P” (U.S. von Euler and B. Pernow, eds.), Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Kanazawa, I., and Jessell, T., 1976, Post mortem changes and regional distribution of substance P in the rat and mouse nervous system, Brain Research 117: 362–367.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lindvall, O., and Björklund, A., 1974, The organization of the ascending catecholamine neuron systems in the rat brain, Acta Physiol. Scand. Supp. 412.Google Scholar
  16. McGeer, P.L., McGeer, E.G., Scherer, U., and Singh, K., 1977, A glutamatergic corticostriatal pathway, Brain Research 128: 369–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nilson, G., Hökfelt, T., and Pernow, B., 1974, Distribution of substance P-like immunoreactivity in the rat central nervous system as revealed by immunohistochemistry, Med. Biol., 52: 424–427.Google Scholar
  18. Otsuka, M., and Takahashi, T., 1977, Putative peptide neurotransmitters, in “Annual Review of Pharmacology”, Vol. pp 425–439.Google Scholar
  19. Shute, C.C.D., and Lewis, P.R., 1967, The ascending cholinergic reticular system: neocortical olfactory and subcortical projections, Brain 90: 497–520.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Snyder, S.H., Uhl, G.R., and Kuhar, M.J., 1977, Comparative features of enkephalin and neurotensin in the mammalian central nervous system, in Centrally Acting Peptides” (J. Hughes, ed.) Macmillan, (in press).Google Scholar
  21. Storm-Mathisen, J., 1976, Localization of putative neurotransmitters in the hippocampal formation, Experimental Brain Research Suppl. 1: 179–187.Google Scholar
  22. Swanson, L.W., 1977, Immunohistochemical evidence for a neurophysin-containing autonomic pathway arising in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, Brain Research 128: 346–353.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Emson
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit, Dept. of PharmacologyMedical SchoolCambridgeEngland

Personalised recommendations