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Neuroreport. 2004 Mar 1;15(3):431-6.

Independent inputs by VGLUT2- and VGLUT3-positive glutamatergic terminals onto rat sympathetic preganglionic neurons.

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Department of Morphological Brain Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


To characterize glutamatergic axon terminals onto sympathetic preganglionic neurons (SPNs), we visualized immunohistochemically three vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) in the intermediolateral cell column (IML) of rat thoracic spinal cord. VGLUT2 and VGLUT3 immunoreactivities but not VGLUT1 immunoreactivity were distributed in the IML and found in terminals making asymmetric synapses and apposed to dendrites immunopositive for choline acetyltransferase, an SPN marker. VGLUT2 and VGLUT3 immunoreactivities were not co-localized with each other. A population of VGLUT2-immunoreactive but not VGLUT3-immunoreactive terminals were adrenergic or noradrenergic. Some of VGLUT3-immunoreactive but not VGLUT2-immunoreactive terminals contained serotonin. These results indicate at least two independent glutamatergic terminal populations, which include a distinct monoaminergic subpopulation, making excitatory inputs onto SPNs.

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