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Neural elements containing glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the rat; immunohistochemical studies by light and electron microscopy


, : Neural elements containing glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the rat; immunohistochemical studies by light and electron microscopy. Neuroscience 8(2): 189-211

Immunoreactive constituents of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of adult albino rats were examined by light- and electron-microscopy, using the unlabelled antibody enzyme method, following treatment of brain slices with a purified antibody to glutamic acid decarboxylase. The neuropil of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus displayed a conspicuous granular immunoreactivity. In addition, the antibody was bound to a class of small neurons of characteristic morphology. These cells possessed few (commonly 2-4) sparsely branched, long dendrites from some of which immunoreactive appendages were traced. Many cells were bipolar in form, and the dendrites of some appeared to be preferentially orientated. The immunoreactive cells closely resembled intrinsic interneurons characterized in previous Golgi studies of this nucleus. By electron-microscopy, immunoreactive presynaptic elements were present both in the extraglomerular neuropil and in the synaptic glomeruli. The former were axon terminals containing flattened synaptic vesicles and making Gray type II axo-dendritic synaptic contact; they appeared to correspond to axon terminals whose origin in the thalamic reticular nucleus has been established in previous studies, but it is possible that some were axon terminals of intrinsic interneurons. The immunoreactive glomerular components also contained flattened vesicles, were presynaptic to presumptive projection cell dendrites, postsynaptic to retinal axon terminals, and participated in triplet (triadic) and other complex synaptic arrangements. They corresponded in all respects to the synaptic portions of the complex dendritic appendages of intrinsic interneurons, identified and characterized in previous studies. The finding that there are high levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase in the cell bodies, dendritic shafts and dendritic appendages of intrinsic interneurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the rat, and in the axon terminals of fibres projecting to this site from the thalamic reticular nucleus, allows us to conclude that the inhibitory inputs to the geniculo-cortical projection cells from both of these sources are probably mediated by gamma-aminobutyric acid.

US$29.90

PMID: 6341876


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