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Restricted expression between parvalbumin and substance P receptor NK1 in interneurones of the lateral amygdala

Increasing evidence suggests that substance P (SP) and its receptor, namely the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1-R), play an important role in the modulation of stress-related, affective and/or anxious behaviours. Both SP and NK1-R are expressed in brain regions critically involved in stress, fear and affective responses such as the amygdala, hippocampus and frontal cortex. In this study we aimed at identifying the types of NK1-R immunoreactive neurones in the basolateral complex of the amygdala according to their content of other neurochemical markers by dual or triple labelling immunofluorescence. The basolateral amygdaloid complex consists of the lateral (LA) and basolateral (BL) nuclei, which are believed to be cytoarchitectonically similar. Our study reveals that in the rat LA, 38.7 ± 6.7% of NK1-R immunopositive interneurones (124/331) co-express the calcium binding protein parvalbumin (PV), representing 15.2 ± 3.4% (124/820) of PV+ neurones. Conversely, in the BL no coexistence between NK1-R (293 neurones counted) and parvalbumin (2385 neurones counted) expressing interneurones was detected. These results suggest that interneurones in the LA and BL differentially express molecules involved in cell signalling and indicate a distinct organization in local interneurones. The BL resemble the hippocampal region CA1, in which NK1-R-expressing neurones do not coexist with PV[1].


  1. Acsády L, Katona I, Gulyás AI, Shigemoto R, Freund TF: Immunostaining for substance P receptor labels GABAergic cells with distinct termination patterns in the hippocampus. J Comp Neurol. 1997, 378: 320-336. 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19970217)378:3<320::AID-CNE2>3.0.CO;2-5.

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Correspondence to Francesco Ferraguti.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Sreepathi, H.K., Ferraguti, F. Restricted expression between parvalbumin and substance P receptor NK1 in interneurones of the lateral amygdala. BMC Pharmacol 7 (Suppl 2), A2 (2007).

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