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Neuroscience. 1986 Dec;19(4):1051-65.

Immunogold demonstration of GABA in synaptic terminals of intracellularly recorded, horseradish peroxidase-filled basket cells and clutch cells in the cat's visual cortex.


To identify the putative transmitter of large basket and clutch cells in the cat's visual cortex, an antiserum raised against GABA coupled to bovine serum albumen by glutaraldehyde and a postembedding, electron microscopic immunogold procedure were used. Two basket and four clutch cells were revealed by intracellular injection of horseradish peroxidase. They were identified on the basis of the distribution of their processes and their synaptic connections. Large basket cells terminate mainly in layer III, while clutch cells which have a more restricted axon, terminate mainly in layer IV. Both types of neuron have a small radial projection. They establish type II synaptic contacts and about 20-30% of their synapses are made with the somata of other neurons, the rest with dendrites and dendritic spines. Altogether 112 identified, HRP-filled boutons, the dendrites of three clutch cells and myelinated axons of both basket and clutch cells were tested for the presence of GABA. They were all immunopositive. The postsynaptic neurons received synapses from numerous other GABA-positive boutons in addition to the horseradish peroxidase-filled ones. Dendritic spines that received a synapse from a GABA-positive basket or clutch cell bouton also received a type I synaptic contact from a GABA-negative bouton. A few of the postsynaptic dendrites, but none of the postsynaptic somata, were immunoreactive for GABA. The fine structural characteristics of the majority of postsynaptic targets suggested that they were pyramidal and spiny stellate cells. These results provide direct evidence for the presence of immunoreactive GABA in identified basket and clutch cells and strongly suggest that GABA is a neurotransmitter at their synapses. The laminar distribution of the synaptic terminals of basket and clutch cells demonstrates that some GABAergic neurons with similar target specificity segregate into different laminae, and that the same GABAergic cells can take part in both horizontal and radial interactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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