The role of serotonin, vasopressin, and serotonin/vasopressin interactions in aggressive behavior.
The hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory system consists of the paraventricular nucleus and supraoptic nucleus and a number of accessory nuclei. There is evidence that each of the accessory nuclei has a preferential source of afferents. Two of the accessory nuclei, namely the nucleus circularis (NC) and the lateral hypothalamic perivascular nucleus (LHPN), are particularly interesting due to their very close relationship with the blood vessels. The NC is composed of small dense clusters of neurons in the medial anterior hypothalamus. The groups of lateral hypothalamic neurons gathering around vascular branches are collectively called the LHPN. Their close topographical relationship with the blood vessels may indicate that the latter may serve as a source of input to these nuclei. As a part of the effort to investigate this issue, the present study examined in these two nuclei the distribution pattern of terminal-like elements containing 11 transmitters/modulators. Only a few, if any, terminal-like elements of the transmitters/modulators studied could be found distributed in the NC proper, although its immediate vicinity could be densely innervated. On the contrary, the LHPN proper was often densely innervated by fibers expressing the examined markers. These terminal patterns were found to be quite different from those of the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. The present findings further substantiate the notion of a functional differentiation among the subnuclei of the magnocellular neurosecretory system. The significance of the relationship of these two perivascular nuclei with the blood vessels is discussed.