Immunohistochemical techniques were used to localize nociceptin-like immunoreactivity (NOCI-LI) in the rat spinal cords. NOCI-LI nerve fibers were distributed in three fairly well-defined regions: superficial layers of the dorsal horn, central canal area, and intermediolateral cell column (IL(p)) of lower cervical, thoracic, upper lumbar, and sacral segments of the spinal cord. A few NOCI-LI somata of small diameter were noted in the dorsal horn; NOCI-LI cell bodies were infrequently observed in the IL(p) or ventral horn. Concentration of NOCI-LI in nerve fibers of the superficial layers and in fibers projecting into the spinal sympathetic and parasympathetic nuclei suggests that the peptide may participate in sensory as well as autonomic functions.
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Dun, N. J., Dun, S. L., & Hwang, L. L. (1997). Nociceptin-like immunoreactivity in autonomic nuclei of the rat spinal cord. Neuroscience Letters, 234(2-3), 95-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3940(97)00666-6