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A 34-year-old man who is a heavy smoker started a medical assisted program to quit smoking. Therapy included the administration of clonidine, an agonist at alpha-2 presynaptic receptors which is believed to ACT mainly on noradrenergic neurons in the brain. Which of the following areas of the brain is the richest in noradrenergic neurons?



A. Median Raphe Nucleus
B. Stria Terminalis
C. Locus Ceruleus
D. Substantia Nigra
E. Thalamus
Asked by Sienna, Last updated: Dec 05, 2017

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1 Answer

John Smith

John Smith

Answered on Sep 09, 2016

Locus ceruleus-answer: c (katzung, pp 520, brunton, pp 452) most noradrenergic neurons in the brain are found in the locus ceruleus, a bluish area on each side of the median eminence of the brain stem. locus ceruleus sends a particularly large number of projections to the amygdala and hippocampus, where norepinephrine release is thought to mediate emotion and memory formation. another brain region which is rich in noradrenergic neurons is the lateral tegmental area of the reticular formation. clonidine activates presynaptic alpha-2 receptors located on noradrenergic terminals and this decreases norepinephrine release from those terminals. it seems that this reduction of central adrenergic activity is the basis of the therapeutic effect of the drug in case of withdrawal from addicting drugs, including nicotine and opioids.
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