In the male newt Cynops pyrrhogaster, prolactin (PRL) acts directly on the central nervous system and induces courtship behavior. As a step to elucidate the localization of neurons on which PRL acts, we developed a polyclonal antibody against an oligopeptide having a sequence completely identical with a part of the sequence of PRL receptors (PRLRs) of two species of newts, C. pyrrhogaster and C. ensicauda, and performed an immunohistochemical study with this antibody. PRLR-immunoreactive cells were observed in the medial amygdala, anterior preoptic area, magnocellular preoptic nucleus, suprachiasmatic nucleus, nucleus of the periventricular organ, ventral hypothalamic nucleus, and choroid plexus. We also performed in situ hybridization with a 35S-labeled newt PRLR antisense RNA probe and detected signals in the preoptic area and choroid plexus. Colocalization of both PRLR-like immunoreactivity and arginine vasotocin-like or mesotocin-like immunoreactivity was demonstrated in the magnocellular preoptic nucleus. This is the first report of PRLR localization in the amphibian brain.
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