The GABA-synthesizing enzymes glutamate decarboxylase (GAD)1 and GAD2 are universally contained in GABAergic neurons in the central nervous system of the mouse and rat. The two isoforms are almost identically expressed throughout the brain and spinal cord. By using in situ hybridization, we found that the mouse lateral striatum concentrates medium-sized projection neurons with high-level expression of GAD1, but not of GAD2, mRNA. This was confirmed with several types of riboprobe, including those directed to the 5'-noncoding, 3'-noncoding and coding regions. Immunohistochemical localization of GAD1 also revealed predominant localization of the enzyme in the same striatal region. The lateral region of the mouse striatum, harboring such neurons, is ovoid in shape and extends between interaural +4.8 and +2.8, and at lateral 2.8 and dorsoventral 2.0. This intriguing region corresponds to the area that receives afferent inputs from the primary motor and sensory cortex that are presumably related to mouth and forelimb representations. The lateral striatum is included in the basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop, and is most vulnerable to various noxious stimuli in the neurodegeneration processes involving the basal ganglia. We have confirmed elevated expression of GAD1 mRNA, but not of GAD2 mRNA, also in the rat lateral striatum. Image analysis favored the view that the regional increase is caused by elevated cellular expression, and that the greatest number of medium-sized spiny neurons were positive for GAD1 mRNA. The GAD1 mRNA distribution in the mouse lateral striatum partially resembled those of GPR155 and cannabinoid receptor type 1 mRNAs, suggesting functional cooperation in some neurons.
- In situ hybridization
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