The greater part of the striatum is composed of striosomes and matrix compartments, but we recently demonstrated the presence of a region that has a distinct structural organization in the ventral half of the mouse caudal striatum (Miyamoto et al. in Brain Struct Funct 223:4275-4291, 2018). This region, termed the tri-laminar part based upon its differential immunoreactivities for substance P and enkephalin, consists of medial, intermediate, and lateral divisions. In this study, we quantitatively analyzed the distributions of both projection neurons and interneurons in each division using immunohistochemistry. Two types of projection neurons expressing either the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) or D2 receptor (D2R) showed complementary distributions throughout the tri-laminar part, but the proportions significantly differed among the three divisions. The proportion of D1R-expressing neurons in the medial, intermediate, and lateral divisions was 88.6 ± 8.2% (651 cells from 3 mice), 14.7 ± 3.8% (1025 cells), and 49.3 ± 4.5% (873 cells), respectively. The intermediate division was further characterized by poor innervation of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive axons. The numerical density of choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive neurons differed among the three divisions following the order from the medial to lateral divisions. In contrast, PV-positive somata were distributed throughout all three divisions at a constant density. Two types of GABAergic interneurons labeled for nitric oxide synthase and calretinin showed the highest cell density in the medial division. The present results characterize the three divisions of the mouse caudal striatum as distinct structures, which will facilitate studies of novel functional loops in the basal ganglia.
Keywords: Dopamine receptor; Enkephalin; Striatum; Substance P; Tri-laminar part; Tyrosine hydroxylase.