The glutamate decarboxylase-, leucine enkephalin-, methionine enkephalin- and substance P-immunoreactive neurons in the neostriatum of the rat and cat: evidence for partial population overlap

Neuroscience. 1986 Apr;17(4):1011-45. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(86)90076-x.


We have examined the populations of neurons in the neostriatum of both rat and cat that are immunoreactive for glutamate decarboxylase, [Leu]enkephalin, [Met]enkephalin and substance P. Neurons that were immunoreactive for glutamate decarboxylase made up 47% of the neurons in our samples from the rat and ranged from 39 to 49% of the neurons in the cat. Those immunoreactive for [Leu]enkephalin made up 44-49% of the neurons in rat neostriatum, and 38-47% in the cat, and those immunoreactive for [Met]enkephalin made up 36-41% of the neurons in rat and 43-49% of the neurons in the cat. Substance P-immunoreactive neurons made up 30-38% of neurons in rat and 32-39% in cat. Most substance P neurons (particularly the most darkly staining ones) were, however, clustered such that they were most numerous in the patch compartment of neostriatum; within the patches the substance P neurons comprised 59% of neurons in the rat and 55% in cat, but in the matrix substance P neurons comprised only 32% of neurons in the rat and 25% in the cat. Samples taken from sections processed for two-color double labeling immunocytochemistry revealed that 12% of neurons label for both glutamate decarboxylase and [Leu]enkephalin, 12% for both glutamate decarboxylase and [Met]enkephalin, 11-12% for both glutamate decarboxylase and substance P, and 17% for both [Met]enkephalin and substance P. These results provide evidence for chemical heterogeneity within the medium-sized neostriatal neurons, and provide the first evidence for coexistence of glutamate decarboxylase and substance P within a single neuron, and the first evidence for the coexistence for substance P and [Met]enkephalin within single neurons of the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Corpus Striatum / analysis
  • Corpus Striatum / cytology*
  • Corpus Striatum / enzymology
  • Enkephalin, Leucine / analysis*
  • Enkephalin, Methionine / analysis*
  • Fixatives
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / analysis*
  • Neurons / analysis
  • Neurons / classification*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Substance P / analysis*


  • Fixatives
  • Substance P
  • Enkephalin, Methionine
  • Enkephalin, Leucine
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase