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Exp Brain Res. 2018 Apr;236(4):955-961. doi: 10.1007/s00221-018-5191-9. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Evidence for encephalopsin immunoreactivity in interneurones and striosomes of the monkey striatum.

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Department of Anatomy F13, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2006, Australia.
University of Grenoble Alpes, CEA, LETI, CLINATEC, MINATEC Campus, 38000, Grenoble, France.
Department of Anatomy F13, University of Sydney, Sydney, 2006, Australia.


In this study, we examined the cellular distribution of encephalopsin (opsin 3; OPN3) expression in the striatum of non-human primates. In addition, because of our long standing interest in Parkinson's disease and neuroprotection, we examined whether parkinsonian (MPTP; 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) insult and/or photobiomodulation (670 nm) had any impact on encephalopsin expression in this key area of the basal ganglia. Striatal sections of control naïve monkeys, together with those that were either MPTP- and/or photobiomodulation-treated were processed for immunohistochemistry. Our results revealed two populations of striatal interneurones that expressed encephalopsin, one of which was the giant, choline acetyltransferase-containing, cholinergic interneurones. The other population had smaller somata and was not cholinergic. Neither cell group expressed the calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin. There was also rich encephalopsin expression in a set of terminals forming striosome-like patches across the striatum. Finally, we found that neither parkinsonian (MPTP) insult nor photobiomodulation had any effect on encephalopsin expression in the striatum. In summary, our results revealed an extensive network of encephalopsin containing structures throughout the striatum, indicating that external light is in a position to influence a range of striatal activities at both the interneurone and striosome level.


Acetylcholine; Caudate; MPTP; OPN3; Photobiomodulation; Putamen

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