N.E. Lazarov The Mesencephalic Trigeminal Nucleus in the Cat. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000, pp 1-103.

The book summarizes our current understanding of the ultrastructure and synaptic organization of the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus (MTN) in the cat as well as the neurochemistry of its neuronal population. Particular emphasis is given to the survey of synaptic connections and the possible physiological involvement of MTN inputs in the transmission of proprioceptive information. Using immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization histochemistry we have identified distinct neuronal, partly chemically coded MTN subpopulations – large glutamatergic and smaller GABAergic neurons. We also show that MTN receives catecholaminergic, nitregic and peptidergic innervation. The levels of transmitter substances vary according to the environmental conditions thus implying the neurochemical plasticity of MTN neurons.


  • Introduction


  • Materials and Methods

    • Animals

    • Electron Microscopy

    • Immunocytochemical Experiments

    • In situ Hybridization Histochemistry

    • Peripheral Nerve Axotomy

    • Data and Image Analysis


  • Results

    • Normal Morphology of the Mesencephalic Trigeminal Nucleus

      • Ultrastructure of the MTN

      • Synaptic Organization of the MTN

    • Neurochemistry of the Mesencephalic Trigeminal Nucleus

      • Classical Neurotransmitters

        • Excitatory Amino Acids

        • Inhibitory Amino Acids

        • Monoamines

      • Neuropeptides

        • Substance P

        • Bombesin

        • Enkephalins

        • Cholecystokinin

        • Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide

        • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide

        • Galanin

        • Neuropeptide Y

        • Arginine Vasopressin

      • Other Neuroactive Agents

        • Nitric Oxide

        • Calcium-Binding Proteins

      • Receptors in MTN Neurons

      • Axotomy-Induced Changes in Neurochemical Content of MTN Neurons


  • Discussion

    • Structural and Synaptic Organization

    • Connections of the MTN

    • Neurochemistry of the MTN

      • Classical Neurotransmitters and Their Known Receptors

      • Neuropeptides

      • Other Neuroactive Substances

    • Neurochemical Plasticity of MTN Neurons

    • Functional Considerations

    • Conclusions and Future Directions


  • Summary


  • Acknowledgments


  • References


  • Subject Index

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Contact Information

+359-2-9172 525

+359-2-8518 783

Postal address
Nikolai E. Lazarov, MD, PhD, DSc
Professor of Anatomy and Cell Neurobiology
Department of Anatomy and Histology
Medical University - Sofia
2, Zdrave Street
BG-1431 Sofia, Bulgaria

Electronic mail

Awards and Honours

1993 COPERNICUS-Fellow; grant ERB3510PL922161 from the Commission of the European Communities; University of Ulm, Germany

1994 Commission of the European Communities; grant CIPA-CT93-0205 (DG 12 HSMU) from the EEC and Universitair Centrum Antwerpen, Belgium; Research Project 'Functional Morphology of the Autonomic Nervous System', University of Antwerp RUCA, Belgium

1995-1997 AvH Fellow; grant 1015945 from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Research Project "The Significance of Dopaminergic and Glutamate Afferents for the Differentiation of the Striatum", University of Ulm, Germany

1997 The First Bulgarian Anatomical Society Dimitri Kadanoff Memorial Award

1998 M.R.C. Visiting Professor, Leiden University, The Netherlands

1999 The First Award of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria

2000 Visiting Professor, University of Ulm, Germany

2003 The First Award for Scientific Merits of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria

2003 International Scientist of the Year

2004-2005 AvH Fellow; Research Project: "Expression of Receptors: Focus on Histamine Receptors in the Petrosal Ganglion", University of Munich, Germany

2006, 2007 Visiting Professor, University of Munich, Germany

2010 The Medical University-Sofia "Orahovatz" Award for Outstanding Contributions to Fundamental Science

2019 The Medical University of Sofia PANACEA Prize for special contributions to realization of teaching, research and expert activity

2019 The Pythagoras Award of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science for Distinguished Scientist in Health and Medical Sciences

2021 Visiting Professor, University of Bern, Switzerland