Enkephalin-like immunoreactivity was localized within the main olfactory bulb of the rat using immunohistochemical techniques. These studies utilized well characterized antisera directed to either leu5- or met5-enkephalin. Specificity was established by absorption of the antisera with either 10 μM synthetic leu5- or met5-enkephalin. Specific enkephalin-like immunoreactivity was observed within several different cell populations including (1) periglomerular cells, (2) granule cells and their processes within the external plexiform layer and (3) occasional short-axon (horizontal) cells within the granule and external plaxiform layers. The granule cell layer contained the greatest number of immunoreactive cells. Only a limited number of immunoreactive cells were found in both the periglomerular and granule cell layers, suggesting the enkephalin-containing neurons represent a sub-population within each layer. The absence of immunoreactive processes in the periventribular white matter, as well as the morphologies of immunoreactive bulbar neurons, indicates that enkephalin is found exclusively within intrinsic olfactory bulb neurons. © 1982.
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