Efferent projections from the striatal patch compartment: anterograde degeneration after selective ablation of neurons expressing mu-opioid receptor in rats

Neurosci Lett. 2002 Oct 25;332(1):5-8. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(02)00837-6.


Local injection of mu-opioid receptor specific neurotoxin, dermorphin-saporin, into the striatum resulted in selective degeneration of striatal neurons in the patch compartment. We analyzed subsequent anterograde degeneration of axons and terminals at light and electron microscopic level. Light microscopic examination after silver impregnation method revealed that degenerating axons and terminals arising from the striatal patch compartment were distributed in the globus pallidus, entopeduncular nucleus, and substantia nigra. They were found in both pars reticulata and compacta of the substantia nigra. Electron microscopic examination revealed that the degenerating axon terminals contained large pleomorphic vesicles and formed symmetric synapses on dendrites. The present results suggest that patch neurons expressing mu-opioid receptor send projection fibers to multiple nuclei of the basal ganglia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology*
  • Efferent Pathways / drug effects
  • Efferent Pathways / metabolism
  • Efferent Pathways / pathology*
  • Female
  • Immunotoxins / pharmacology
  • Male
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases*
  • Nerve Degeneration / metabolism*
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology*
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Opioid Peptides
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / ultrastructure
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • Saporins


  • Immunotoxins
  • Oligopeptides
  • Opioid Peptides
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 1
  • dermorphin
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • Saporins