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Neuroscience. 1999;93(3):955-67.

High level of adenosine A1 receptor-like immunoreactivity in the CA2/CA3a region of the adult rat hippocampus.

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Biosignalling Department, National Institute of Bioscience and Human Technology, Tsukuba, Japan.


We describe the immunocytochemical distribution of adenosine A1 receptors in the rat hippocampus. Adenosine A1 receptor-like immunoreactivity was seen on the cell soma and dendrites of pyramidal cells and the cell soma and proximal part of dendrites of granule cells, but not on glial cells. Developmentally, adenosine A1 receptor-like immunoreactivity was diffuse on postnatal day 7 and increased in intensity in individual cells by day 21. In the CA2/CA3a region, the adult pattern of A1 receptor distribution was established by day 28. In the adult rat hippocampus, rostrocaudal inspection revealed that immunoreactivity in CA2/CA3a was greatest. Confocal microscopy revealed differences in the staining patterns for the adenosine A receptor and synaptophysin, a marker of presynaptic terminals. This result suggests that the adenosine A1 receptor might have postsynaptic physiological functions. Double-labeling of adenosine A1 receptors and anterogradely-labeled fibers from the supramammillary nucleus showed that the fibers from the supramammillary nucleus terminate directly on the cell soma of the A1 receptor-immunopositive neurons in CA2/CA3a and the dentate gyrus. These results indicate that the adenosine A 1 receptor in CA2/CA3a and the dentate gyrus are in a position to regulate hippocampal theta activity and that resultant strong synaptic depression in CA2/CA3a could play a role in regulating the intrinsic signal flow between CA3 and CA1.

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