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J Comp Neurol. 2000 Feb 28;418(1):22-32.

Phenotypical characterization of the neurons expressing the D1 and D2 dopamine receptors in the monkey striatum.

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UMR CNRS 5541, Laboratoire d'Histologie-Embryologie, Université V. Segalen, Bordeaux 2, France.


The striatum is regulated by dopaminergic inputs from the substantia nigra. Several anatomical studies using in situ hybridization have demonstrated that in rodents, dopamine D1 and D2 receptors are segregated into distinct striatal efferent populations: dopamine D1 receptor into gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/substance P striatonigral neurons, and dopamine D2 receptor into GABA/enkephalin striatopallidal neurons. The existence of such a segregation has not been investigated in primates. Therefore, to quantify the efferent striatal GABAergic neurons in the adult Cynomolgus monkey, we detected GAD67 mRNA expression while considering that only a minority of the GABAergic population is composed of interneurons. To characterize the peptidergic phenotype of the neurons expressing dopamine D1 or D2 receptors, we examined the mRNA coding for these receptors in the striatum at the cellular level using single- and double in situ hybridization with digoxigenin and 35S ribonucleotide probes. Double in situ hybridization demonstrated a high coexpression of dopamine D1 receptor and substance P mRNAs (91-99%) as well as dopamine D2 receptor and preproenkephalin A mRNAs (96-99%) in medium-sized neurons throughout the nucleus caudatus, putamen, and nucleus accumbens. Only a small subpopulation (2-5%) of the neurons that contained dopamine D1 receptor mRNA also expressed dopamine D2 receptor mRNA in all regions. Large-sized neurons known to be cholinergic expressed D2R mRNA. However, within the nucleus basalis of Meynert, the large cholinergic neurons expressed D2R mRNA, but the neurons producing enkephalin expressed neither D1R nor D2R mRNA. These results demonstrate that the striatal organizational pattern of D1 and D2 receptor segregation in distinct neuronal populations described in rodent also exists in primate.

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