PNMT-containing neurons in the rostral medulla oblongata (C1, C3 groups) are transneuronally labelled after injection of herpes simplex virus type I into the adrenal gland

S. L. Wesselingh, Y. W. Li, W. W. Blessing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) was injected into the rat adrenal gland. After 3 days the rat CNS was processed immunohistochemically to demonstrate viral antigen. In the lower thoracic spinal cord viral antigen was found in neurons in the intermediolateral column. In the medulla oblongata HSV1-positive neurons were found in the raphe pallidus and in the C1 and C3 regions of the rostral medulla. Approximately 50% of HSV1-positive neurons in the C1 and all the HSV1-positive neurons in the C3 area also contained phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) and were thus identified as C1 and C3 cells. The HSV1-positive neurons in the C1 region which did not contain PNMT were also negative for tyrosine hydroxylase and were therefore not catecholamine-synthesizing neurons. The HSV1-positive neurons in the medulla oblongata were presumably transsynaptically labelled from the adrenal gland and our study therefore provides neuroanatomical evidence supporting the view that some C1 neurons are involved in controlling the function of the adrenal gland.

Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 1989


  • Adrenal gland
  • Axonal tracing agent
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1
  • Medulla oblongata, C1
  • PNMT-containing neurons
  • Sympathetic preganglionic neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this