Cellular Localization of AMPA Type Glutamate Receptor Subunits in the Basal Ganglia of Pigeons (Columba livia)Laverghetta A.V.a · Toledo C.A.B.b · Veenman C.L.a · Yamamoto K.a · Wang H.a · Reiner A.a
aDepartment of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn., USA; bDepartment of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biology, Campinas, SP, Brazil
Corticostriatal and thalamostriatal projections utilize glutamate as a neurotransmitter in mammals and birds. The influence on striatum is mediated, in part, by ionotropic AMPA-type glutamate receptors, which are heteromers composed of GluR1–4 subunits. Although the cellular localization of AMPA-type subunits has been well characterized in mammalian basal ganglia, their localization in avian basal ganglia has not. We thus carried out light microscopic single- and double-label and electron microscopic single-label immunohistochemical studies of GluR1–4 distribution and cellular localization in pigeon basal ganglia. Single-label studies showed that the striatal neuropil is rich in GluR1, GluR2, and GluR2/3 immunolabeling, suggesting the localization of GluR1, GluR2 and/or GluR3 to the dendrites and spines of striatal projection neurons. Double-label studies and perikaryal size distribution determined from single-label material indicated that about 25% of enkephalinergic and 25% of substance P-containing striatal projection neuron perikarya contained GluR1, whereas GluR2 was present in about 75% of enkephalinergic neurons and all substance-P -containing neurons. The perikaryal size distribution for GluR2 compared to GluR2/3 suggested that enkephalinergic neurons might more commonly contain GluR3 than do substance P neurons. Parvalbuminergic and calretininergic striatal interneurons were rich in GluR1 and GluR4, a few cholinergic striatal interneurons possessed GluR2, but somatostatinergic striatal interneurons were devoid of all subunits. The projection neurons of globus pallidus all possessed GluR1, GluR2, GluR2/3 and GluR4 immunolabeling. Ultrastructural analysis of striatum revealed that GluR1 was preferentially localized to dendritic spines, whereas GluR2/3 was found in spines, dendrites, and perikarya. GluR2/3-rich spines were generally larger than GluR1 spines and more frequently possessed perforated post-synaptic densities. These results show that the diverse basal ganglia neuron types each display different combinations of AMPA subunit localization that shape their responses to excitatory input. For striatal projection neurons and parvalbuminergic interneurons, the combinations resemble those for the corresponding cell types in mammals, and thus their AMPA responses to glutamate are likely to be similar.
© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel