Journal für Hirnforschung
Recently published electrophysiological data investigated the effect of blood borne and brain intrinsic substances on the activity of neurons in the duck subfornical organ (SFO). This study defines histologically the region in the duck SFO, where blood borne substances can possibly influence neuronal activity. Intravenous injection of Evans blue, a dye which labels brain structures devoid of a blood brain barrier (BBB), resulted in diffuse labelling of the duck SFO from the anterior commissure to the end of the organ in rostrocaudal extension. In addition, specifically labelled neurons could be observed just rostral to the diffuse Evans blue labelling and in an area dorsomedial to the large central blood vessel. The majority of the somata of these heavily stained neurons were located inside the BBB, whereas in the areas with diffuse Evans blue labelling, thus being outside the BBB, labelled cells were rarely observed. Intravenous injection of Evans blue in rats resulted similarly in diffuse labelling of the parenchyma of the medial and caudal part of the SFO, with only a few, but heavily stained cells with fusiform somata. The rostral region of the rat SFO, which is known to have a functional BBB, shows hardly any diffuse labelling, but there the majority of neurons show strong Evans blue fluorescence. It is concluded that the heavily labelled somata inside the BBB have axonal or dendritic projections to BBB-free areas, where they can take up the dye. This study gives a functional description of the extension of the SFO areas without a BBB of rats and ducks. It is concluded that blood borne agents can affect those SFO neurons which have their somata located outside the BBB as well as those located inside the BBB which have terminals projecting to BBB free regions.