The superior salivatory nucleus (SSN) is the primary parasympathetic center controlling submandibular salivatory secretion. Our previous electrophysiological study revealed that many SSN neurons receive GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic inputs. In the present study, we examined the distribution of GABAergic and glycinergic nerve terminals, GABAA receptors in the SSN, and the origin of GABAergic nerve terminals innervating the SSN. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and glycine transporter 2 (GLYT2) were used as markers of GABAergic and glycinergic nerve terminals, respectively. GAD-and GLYT2-positive nerve terminals and GABAA receptors were examined immunohistochemically in SSN neurons labeled by the retrograde axonal transport of FastBlue (FB) injected into the chorda-lingual nerve. The SSN neurons abundantly contained GAD-positive nerve terminals and GABAA receptors, suggesting that SSN neurons undergo strong GABAergic inhibition. The origin of GABAergic terminals was examined in neurons labeled by the retrograde transport of FluoroGold (FG) injected into the SSN. GAD was used as a marker of GABAergic neurons. Numerous FG-labeled neurons were found in the forebrain and brainstem. However, in FG-labeled neurons, GAD-positive neurons were occasionally observed in the reticular formation of the brainstem. These findings suggest that SSN neurons mainly receive GABAergic projections from the reticular formation.
- GABAergic neuron
- Superior salivatory nucleus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)