Serotonergic neurons in the brainstem of the Wallaby, Macropus eugenii

I. A. Ferguson, C. D. Hardman, L. R. Marotte, A. Salardini, P. Halasz, D. Vu, P. M.E. Waite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The organisation and cytoarchitecture of the serotonergic neurons in a diprotodont marsupial were examined by using serial sections of the brainstem processed for serotonin immunohistochemistry and routine histology. The topographic distribution of serotonergic neurons in the brainstem of the adult wallaby (Macropus eugenii) was similar to that of eutherian mammals. Serotonergic neurons were divided into rostral and caudal groups, separated by an oblique boundary through the pontomedullary junction. Approximately 52% of the serotonergic neurons in the wallaby brainstem were located in the rostral midline nuclei (caudal linear nucleus, dorsal, median, and pontine raphe nuclei and the interpeduncular nucleus), whereas 21% were found in the caudal midline region (nuclei raphe magnus, obscurus, and pallidus). The remaining serotonergic neurons (27%) were located in more lateral regions such as the pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei, the supralemniscal nuclei (B9 group), and the ventrolateral medulla. The largest serotonergic group, the dorsal raphe, contained one-third of the brainstem serotonergic neurons and showed five subdivisions, similar to that described in other species. In contrast, the median raphe did not show clear subdivisions. The internal complexity of the raphe nuclei and the degree of lateralisation of serotonergic neurons suggest that the wallaby serotonergic system is similar in organisation to that described for the cat and rabbit. This study supports the suggestion that the serotonergic system is evolutionally well conserved and provides baseline data for a quantitative study of serotonergic innervation of the developing cortex in the wallaby.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-549
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 6 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cortex
  • Evolution
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Marsupials
  • Raphe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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