|Budget Amount *help
¥3,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥3,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥2,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,200,000)
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity was examined in neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) of the rat using a histochemical method, and compared to MAO activity in neurons of the locus coeruleus (LC) and dorsal raphe nucleus (DR). Using dopamine as a substrate, dopamine-degrading MAO activity was not detected many SNC neurons, though LC and DR neurons were intensely stained for this activity. We further examined MAO activity in these neurons using other substrates, including serotonin (an MAO type A preferential substrate), b-phenylethylamine (an MAO type B preferential substrate), and tyramine (a substrate common to both MAO types A and B). As for dopamine, no SNC neurons were stained for MAO activity using any of these other substrates. In contrast, LC neurons were intensely stained when either serotonin or tyramine was used, and DR neurons were darkly stained when either b-phenylethylamine or tyramine was used. The lack of evidence of MAO activity in the SNC is surprising given that there are densely packed tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-immunoreactive neurons in the SNC (i e, dopaminergic neurons). By comparison, in the LC and DR the distribution patterns of the MAO-stained neurons were similar to those of TH-immunolabeled neurons (i.e., noradrenergic neurons) and serotonin-immunoreactive neurons, respectively. Our results suggest that dopamine-degrading MAO activity and MAO types A and B activities in SNC dopamine neurons are very low compared to MAO activity in LC noradrenaline neurons and in DR serotonin neurons.