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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 May 26;95(11):6486-91.

Preferential localization of self-stimulation sites in striosomes/patches in the rat striatum.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, McGill University, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1B1.


Histological sections of the mammalian striatum reveal a "matrix" that is histochemically distinguishable from patches, or "striosomes". The latter are cross sections of a compartment that consists primarily of tube-shaped structures radiating through the matrix. As a test of the hypothesis that the function of the striosome/patch compartment includes the mediation of behaviors related to reward, the present study examined electrical self-stimulation of the caudoputamen in rats with electrodes in either of the two compartments. Rats acquired and maintained bar-pressing responses that were contingent on stimulation through electrodes making contact with striosomes/patches more reliably than animals with electrodes terminating exclusively in the matrix. The results provide in vivo evidence that the striosome/patch compartment is functionally differentiated from the matrix compartment: Stimulation centered in or around the striosome/patch compartment but not in the matrix led to rapid acquisition of a new behavior.

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