Diverse pre- and post-synaptic expression of m1-m4 muscarinic receptor proteins in neurons and afferents in the rat neostriatum

Life Sci. 1995;56(11-12):931-8. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(95)00030-a.


We have utilized subtype specific antibodies to determine the cellular and subcellular distributions of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes that are highly expressed in the rat striatum (m1-m4). Each receptor is expressed in distinct populations of striatal neurons in the relative proportions predicted by their mRNAs. They concentrate at post-synaptic sites and each of the four subtypes are also transported to pre-synaptic sites. m2 appears to be the only presynaptic autoreceptor in the striatum, but it is also localized in non-cholinergic terminals. These distinct pre- and post-synaptic localizations suggest that muscarinic receptor subtype diversity evolved to enable increasingly complex responses to acetylcholine release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cell Count
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neostriatum / cytology
  • Neostriatum / metabolism*
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / genetics
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / ultrastructure
  • Receptors, Presynaptic / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Muscarinic
  • Receptors, Presynaptic