The morphological features and distribution of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)-immunoreactive cell bodies and fibers of the hypothalamic and the neighboring mesencephalic regions were studied in the normal newborn infant by immunohistochemistry. Within the hypothalamus, numerous LHRH-immunoreactive like (IL) cell bodies were found mainly in the ventral portion of the infundibular nucleus close to the median eminence and at a lower extent in the medial preoptic area. In addition, sparse immunoreactive cell bodies were displayed in the paraventricular and medial mammillary nuclei. The mesencephalon also exhibited rare immunoreactive cell bodies in the periaqueductal gray. LHRH-IL fibers, predominantly varicose, formed a continuum from the septo-preotico level to the mesencephalon. In the hypothalamus, the median eminence exhibited the highest LHRH innervation. LHRH-IL fibers are also observed in the lamina terminalis, the medial preoptic area, the suprachiasmatic, the supraoptic, the peri- and the paraventricular nuclei. In the last two nuclei, some fibers projected to the dorsomedial and ventromedial nuclei whereas others were in close relation with the ependyma. The mesencephalon displayed low LHRH-IL fibers, present essentially in the raphe and interpeduncular nuclei and around the ependyma. When compared with data obtained in other mammals, the present findings agree well with the general distribution and morphological features of LHRH-IL neuronal structures reported elsewhere. © 1990.
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