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J Comp Neurol. 1988 Jun 22;272(4):489-502.

GABAergic basal forebrain neurons project to the neocortex: the localization of glutamic acid decarboxylase and choline acetyltransferase in feline corticopetal neurons.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


Our objective was to determine whether GABAergic and cholinergic basal forebrain neurons project to the neocortex. The retrograde connectivity marker wheat germ agglutinin lectin-bound horseradish peroxidase was injected into the neocortex of adult cats. Histo- and immunohistochemical methods were combined to label sequentially connectivity and transmitter markers (glutamic acid decarboxylase; choline acetyltransferase) in forebrain neurons. The labels of each marker were identified by correlative light and electron microscopy. Two principal types of doubly labeled neurons were demonstrated. The connectivity marker was colocalized with glutamic acid decarboxylase or choline acetyltransferase. The neurons were located in the basal forebrain. Their ultrastructural, cellular, and regional organization supported 2 conclusions. (1) GABAergic basal forebrain neurons project to the neocortex. This is important new morphological evidence for the origin of inhibitory neocortical afferents from a subcortical brain site. (2) The GABAergic and cholinergic basal forebrain neurons projecting to the neocortex exhibit remarkable structural similarities. The transmitter diversity of these intertwined neocortical afferents may be significant for the pathology and treatment of human neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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