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J Comp Neurol. 2001 Jun 11;434(4):445-60.

Muscarinic m1 and m2 receptor proteins in local circuit and projection neurons of the primate striatum: anatomical evidence for cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic prefronto-striatal pathways.

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Section of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


The cellular and subcellular localization of muscarinic receptor proteins m1 and m2 was examined in the neostriatum of macaque monkeys by using light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical techniques. Double-labeling immunocytochemistry revealed m1 receptors in calbindin-D28k--positive medium spiny projection neurons. Muscarinic m1 labeling was dramatically more intense in the striatal matrix compartment in juvenile monkeys but more intense in striosomes in the adult caudate, suggesting that m1 expression undergoes a developmental age-dependent change. Ultrastructurally, m1 receptors were predominantly localized in asymmetric synapse-forming spines, indicating that these spines receive extrastriatal excitatory afferents. The association of m1-positive spines with lesion-induced degenerating prefronto-striatal axon terminals demonstrated that these afferents originate in part from the prefrontal cortex. The synaptic localization of m1 in these spines indicates a role of m1 in the modulation of excitatory neurotransmission. To a lesser extent, m1 was present in symmetric synapses, where it may also modulate inhibitory neurotransmission originating from local striatal neurons or the substantia nigra. Conversely, m2/choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) double labeling revealed that m2-positive neurons corresponded to large aspiny cholinergic interneurons and ultrastructurally, that the majority of m2 labeled axons formed symmetric synapses. The remarkable segregation of the m1 and m2 receptor proteins to projection and local circuit neurons suggests a functional segregation of m1 and m2 mediated cholinergic actions in the striatum: m1 receptors modulate extrinsic glutamatergic and monoaminergic afferents and intrinsic GABAergic afferents onto projection neurons, whereas m2 receptors regulate acetylcholine release from axons of cholinergic interneurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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