Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biological Sciences


Arshad M. Khan


In the present study, we have provided two sets of high spatial-resolution maps for neuronal populations containing the immunoreactive presence of the key feeding-related peptides hypocretin/orexin (H/O), alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH) and the nitric oxide-producing enzyme, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). These were mapped across the mediolateral and dorsoventral extents of the hypothalamus in the Swanson rat brain atlas, from levels 23–30. The first set of these maps are of the chemoarchitectural distributions for each of the neuronal populations mentioned, which are novel in two ways. First, they were generated across multiple animals to serve as the basis for probability maps of the distributions of these peptides. Second, they include fiber systems that are mapped to a standardized atlas. A second set of maps was generated of the mesoscale-level putative interactions between H/O- or αMSH-ir axonal fibers and nNOS-ir somata. These mesoscale-level putative interaction maps will help shed some light on the possible interactions between these feeding control neuropeptides and a known modulator of feeding and metabolic responses, nitric oxide. The interaction maps were also completed for multiple animals and will be the basis of probability maps that will be provided as a tool for further exploration of these interactions with techniques that require targeted delivery of molecules such as optogenetics, chemogenetics, and tract-tracing studies. These datasets will also benefit researchers who use techniques where it is difficult to survey large areas to find targeted interactions, such as patch-clamp electrophysiology or electron microscopy.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

92 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Eduardo Peru