Autonomic Nervous SystemLabelling of rat vagal preganglionic neurones by carbocyanine dye DiI applied to the heartCorbett, Eric K. A.1; Batten, Trevor F. C.1,3; Kaye, Jean C.1; Deuchars, Jim2; McWilliam, Peter N.1 Author Information 1Institute for Cardiovascular Research, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK 2School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK 3Corresponding Author: Trevor F. C. Batten ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This work was supported by the British Heart Foundation. Received 19 January 1999; accepted 14 February 1999 NeuroReport 10(6):p 1177-1181, April 26, 1999. Buy Abstract WE describe a method for applying the carbocyanine dye DiI to the rat heart that takes advantage of the dye's lipophilic properties and its ability to diffuse easily into tissues, and results in specific retrograde labelling of cardiac vagal preganglionic neurones in the medulla oblongata. Most of the labelled neurones were found bilaterally in the nucleus ambiguus (81%), with a few sparsely distributed in the dorsal motor vagal nucleus (6.5%), and in an intermediate area located between these two nuclei (12.5%). We contend that the method of applying DiI crystals to the surface of the heart is a more efficient, accurate and reproducible method of retrograde labelling than the injection of tracers into this very delicate tissue. © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.