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Exp Brain Res. 1977 Nov 24;30(2-3):161-74.

Monoaminergic synapses, including dendro-dendritic synapses in the rat substantia nigra.


Intraventricular administration of 1 or 2 mg of the osmiophilic "false transmitter" 5-hydroxydopamine (5-OHDA) was used to label monoamine storage and release sites in the rat substantia nigra. Vesicles containing unusually dense cores indicative of the presence of the marker were seen forming from the Golgi apparatus in the cell bodies of medium-sized neurons of the substantia nigra, pars compacta, and from smooth endoplasmic reticulum in the dendrites of those neurons and in small unmyelinated axons of unknown origin. In serial sections, both axons and dendrites containing synaptic vesicles marked with 5-OHDA were seen to form synapses "en passage" in pars compacta, and some presynaptic dendrites containing vesicles filled by the marker were also observed to form contacts with dendrites in pars reticulata. The only identified postsynaptic elements engaging in monoaminergic synapses in the substantia nigra were dendrites of medium-sized pars compacta neurons.

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