Subcellular localization of the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor in rat cerebellar granule cell layer

Neuroreport. 1997 Apr 14;8(6):1431-3. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199704140-00021.


The distribution of the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor subunit in the rat cerebellum was studied immunohistochemically at the electron microscope level using an alpha 7 subunit-specific antibody. The granule cell layer showed a much lower level of immunoreactivity for the alpha 7 subunit than the Purkinje cell layer. Granule cell somata were completely devoid of labeling; this appeared to be restricted to glomeruli exclusively located in the membranes of granule cell dendrites. The alpha 7 immunolabeling was located not at active synaptic areas but was mostly perisynaptic. This localization suggests that nicotinic receptors containing the alpha 7 subunit could have a modulatory function and/or play a direct role in the generation of synaptic currents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Cerebellum / chemistry*
  • Cerebellum / cytology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neurons / chemistry*
  • Peptide Fragments / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Receptors, Nicotinic / chemistry*
  • Subcellular Fractions / chemistry*


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Nicotinic