Electron-microscopic study of dopaminergic structures in the medial subdivision of the monkey nucleus accumbens

Exp Brain Res. 1996 Sep;111(1):41-50. doi: 10.1007/BF00229554.


The medial subdivision of the monkey nucleus accumbens (NAC) is rich in dopamine (DA) and peptides. In the present investigation the mode of DA transmission in the medial subdivision was studied morphologically by light- and electron-microscopic immunocytochemistry using a monoclonal antibody raised against dopamine. The medial subdivision showed extremely dense accumulation of thick DA-immunoreactive varicose fibers. Electron-microscopic observation of single sections revealed that DA afferents had a relatively high incidence (33.2%) of asymmetric junctions in this area. Approximately 50% of the targets were dendritic shafts, 44.2% dendritic spines, and 5.1% somata. Some DA axons showed terminal profiles en passant within the synaptic complex, some of which showed synaptic triads. The unique ultrastructural features of DA terminals in the medial NAC indicate the existence of specific styles of DA transmission in the limbic structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Dendrites / chemistry
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Dopamine / analysis*
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Endings / chemistry
  • Nerve Endings / ultrastructure
  • Neurons / chemistry
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Nucleus Accumbens / chemistry*
  • Nucleus Accumbens / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Dopamine