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J Neurocytol. 2000 Aug;29(8):595-603.

A light and electron microscopic study of the GABA transporter GAT-3 in the monkey basal ganglia and brainstem.

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Department of Anatomy, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119260.


The present study aimed to elucidate the distribution of the GABA transporter GAT-3 in the monkey basal ganglia and brainstem. Very dense GAT-3 immunoreactivity was observed in the medial septum, diagonal band, basal nucleus of Meynert, thalamus, globus pallidus, and substantia nigra. Moderate levels were observed in the subthalamic nucleus, periaqueductal grey, spinal trigeminal and vestibular nuclei. A general light level of staining was observed in the remainder of the brainstem regions, and very light staining was observed in the caudate nucleus and putamen. Electron microscopy showed that GAT-3 immunoreactivity was present in cell bodies with light cytoplasm and dense bundles of glial filaments, and features of astrocytes. Large numbers of astrocytic processes were also labeled in the neuropil. The cell bodies and processes of neurons were unlabeled. Further study is necessary to elucidate GAT-3 expression in neurological conditions, including hyperalgesia and Parkinson's disease.

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