Distribution of enkephalin immunoreactivity in germinative cells of developing rat cerebellum

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Science  01 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4690, pp. 1049-1051
DOI: 10.1126/science.3883485


The cellular distribution of enkephalin, an endogenous opioid, in the developing rat cerebellum was determined by immunocytochemistry. Methionine and leucine enkephalin were concentrated in the external germinal layer, a matrix of proliferative cells; staining was confined to the cortical cytoplasm. Enkephalin was not detected by immunocytochemistry in differentiated neural cells. These results indicate that endogenous opioids are involved specifically in early phases of nervous system development, particularly cell proliferation and differentiation.