The striatum is thought to be generated from two transient swellings in the ventral telencephalon, the lateral and medial ganglionic eminences, present at mid-stages of embryonic rat development. We have studied the relative contribution of these structures to the specific generation of striatal neuronal subtypes such as projection neurons and cholinergic and somatostatin-containing interneurons at an early stage and a mid stage in striatal neurogenesis. Dissociated progenitors isolated from the embryonic day 12.5 and embryonic day 15.5 rat lateral ganglionic eminence grafted into the previously ibotenic acid lesioned adult striatum, produce grafts containing extensive numbers of neurons expressing messenger RNA for the striatal projection neuron marker, DARPP-32, whereas grafts of the embryonic day 12.5 and embryonic day 15.5 medial ganglionic eminences do not. While preprosomatostatin messenger RNA-expressing neurons were observed in grafts from each of the lateral ganglionic eminence and medial ganglionic eminence at both embryonic day 12.5 and embryonic day 15.5, choline acetyltransferase messenger RNA-expressing cholinergic neurons were largely found in grafts derived from the embryonic day 12.5 medial ganglionic eminence. These results suggest that the neuronal diversity of the adult striatum may derive both from the lateral ganglionic eminence, providing DARPP-32-expressing projection neurons as well as somatostatin-containing interneurons, and the early stage medial ganglionic eminence specifically contributing the cholinergic interneurons.