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Neuroreport. 2009 Apr 22;20(6):584-8. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328329cbf9.

Afferent islands are larger than mu-opioid receptor patch in striatum of rat pups.

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


Dopamine afferent islands were observed in rodent caudate-putamen only during development, whereas patches with intense mu-opioid receptor (MOR) immunoreactivity were seen throughout the life. We performed direct comparison between MOR patches and dopamine islands in the caudate-putamen of rat pups, by double immunofluorescence labeling for MOR and tyrosine hydroxylase. MOR patches were included in dopamine islands at postnatal day (P) 0 to P8, although the patches occupied the same region as the islands at P12-16. Furthermore, the regions of glutamatergic afferents with intense vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 immunoreactivities well corresponded to those of dopamine islands at P4. These results suggest that the striatal 'afferent islands' are larger than MOR patches in the early postnatal life.

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