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J Comp Neurol. 1995 Sep 18;360(2):185-212.

Distribution of parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells and fibers in the human amygdaloid complex.

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Department of Neurology, University of Kuopio, Finland.


The calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin, was localized immunohistochemically in the human amygdaloid complex. Neuronal cell bodies and fibers that are immunoreactive to parvalbumin were observed in most of the amygdaloid nuclei and cortical areas. Three types of immunoreactive aspiny neurons, ranging from small spherical cells (type 1) to large multipolar cells (type 2) and fusiform cells (type 3), were observed. The densities of the types of neurons that were parvalbumin-immunoreactive varied in the different regions of the amygdala. The highest densities of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons were observed in the lateral nucleus, in the magnocellular and intermediate divisions of the basal nucleus, in the magnocellular division of the accessory basal nucleus and in the amygdalohippocampal area. The regions containing the lowest density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells were the paralaminar nucleus, the parvicellular division of the basal nucleus, the central nucleus, the medial nucleus and the anterior cortical nucleus. In general, the distribution of immunoreactive fibers and terminals paralleled that of immunoreactive cells. Parvalbumin-immunoreactive varicose fibers formed basket-like plexi and cartridges around the unstained neurons, which suggests that parvalbumin is located in GABAergic basket cells and chandelier cells, respectively. The distribution of parvalbumin-immunoreactive profiles in the human amygdaloid complex was similar to, rather than different from that previously reported in the monkey amygdala (Pitkänen and Amaral [1993] J. Comp. Neurol. 331:14-36). This study provides baseline information about the organization of GABAergic inhibitory circuitries in the human amygdaloid complex.

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