Adrenocorticotropin in rat brain: immunocytochemical localization in cells and axons

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4346, pp. 1180-1182
DOI: 10.1126/science.206967


By means of antiserum (purified by affinity chromatography) directed against adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) 11-24, cell bodies and beaded axons were visualized in rat brain. The ACTH-like immunoreactivity (ACTH-LI) was primarily located in the hypothalamus (cells and axons). Fibers were scattered throughout thalamus, amygdala, periaqueductal gray area, and reticular formation. There was no change in the distribution of ACTH-LI in rats that had been subjected to hypophysectomy. This distribution of ACTH-LI parallels that of beta-lipotropin and is altered by specific lesions in a similar fashion. The presence of ACTH-LI in cells and beaded axons in brain raises the possibility that it is a neuroregulator functioning as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, or neurohormone.