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J Comp Neurol. 1999 Oct 11;413(1):83-100.

Two types of interneurons in the cat visual thalamus are distinguished by morphology, synaptic connections, and nitric oxide synthase content.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA. mebick01@ulkyvm.louisville.edu

Abstract

The distribution of the neuronal form of the nitric oxide-synthesizing enzyme, brain nitric oxide synthase (BNOS), was examined in the cat thalamus by using immunocytochemical techniques. BNOS was found in both cells and fibers throughout the visual thalamus. BNOS-stained cells were found consistently in the C laminae of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), the pulvinar nucleus, and the lateral posterior nucleus (LP). In the A laminae of the LGN, variable numbers of BNOS-stained cells also could be detected. BNOS-stained cells were identified as a subset of interneurons because they all stained for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), but not all GAD-stained cells contained BNOS. The average soma area of BNOS-stained cells was slightly greater than the average soma area of GAD-stained cells. BNOS-stained cells display a distinctive dendritic morphology, which is consistent with previous descriptions of class V neurons (Updyke [1979] J. Comp. Neurol. 186:603-619); they have widespread but fairly sparse arbors of thin, somewhat beaded dendrites. BNOS-stained cells participate in a distinct synaptic circuitry. Although many GAD-stained profiles are filled with vesicles and participate in complex synaptic arrangements, known as glomeruli, BNOS-stained dendrites contain small clusters of vesicles and form dendrodendritic contacts in the extraglomerular neuropil. Thus, there appear to be at least two types of gamma-aminobutyric acidergic interneurons in the visual thalamus of the cat. Interneurons that do not contain BNOS (class III morphology) may exert their effects primarily within synaptic glomeruli (Hamos et al. [1985] Nature 317:618-621), whereas interneurons that contain BNOS (class V morphology) contribute primarily to the extraglomerular neuropil.

PMID:
10464372
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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