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Exp Brain Res. 1999 Nov;129(2):229-40.

Glycine- and GABA-immunoreactive nerve terminals apposed to alpha-motoneurons during postnatal development in kittens: a quantitative study using the disector.

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URA CNRS 1448, Laboratoire de Physiologie et Biologie de la Motricité, Université René Descartes, 45 rue des Saints-Pères, F-75 270 Paris Cedex 06, France.


The distribution of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and/or glycine-immunoreactive (IR) terminal-like structures apposed to somatic and dendritic membrane of lumbar alpha-motoneurons in column 2 was examined in 1- and 3-week-old kittens and in the adult cat. This quantitative study was carried out using a postembedding technique on semithin sections and a stereological method, the disector. Analysis of immunoreactive terminals showed that the percentages of GABA-IR and glycine-IR terminals (these populations include terminals containing both GABA and glycine) apposed to somatic and proximal dendritic compartments of alpha-motoneurons are almost the same in kittens, while in the adult glycinergic innervation becomes predominant. This change results from: (1) the decrease in numbers of GABA-IR terminals contacting the somatic compartment between 3 weeks and adult stage, while the numbers of glycine-IR terminals show no significant changes after birth and the numbers of terminals containing both neurotransmitters (GABA-IR+glycine-IR) present transient changes and (2) the postnatal increase in the dendritic compartment, in numbers of GABA-IR, glycine-IR and GABA-IR+glycine-IR terminals; the increase being larger for glycine-IR terminals. Furthermore, using a postembedding immunogold technique, observations by electron microscopy showed that GABA-IR P boutons apposed to M boutons can already be identified at 1 week after birth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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