線条体におけるシナプス前性 AMPA レセプターの形態学的解析

Presynaptic Localization of an AMPA-type Glutamate Receptor in Corticostriatal and Thalamostriatal Axon Terminals

 

The neostriatum is known to receive glutamatergic projections from the cerebral cortex and thalamic nuclei. Vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2 (VGluT1 and VGluT2) are located on axon terminals of corticostriatal and thalamostriatal afferents, respectively, whereas VGluT3 is found in axon terminals of cholinergic interneurons in the neostriatum. In the present study, the postsynaptic localization of ionotropic glutamate receptors was examined in rat neostriatum by the post-embedding immunogold method for double labeling of VGluT and glutamate receptor. Immunoreactive gold particles for AMPA receptor subunits, GluR1 and GluR2/3, were frequently found not only on postsynaptic but also on presynaptic profiles immunopositive for VGluT1 and VGluT2 in the neostriatum, and GluR4-immunoreactive particles were and observed on postsynaptic presynaptic profiles positive for VGluT1. Quantitative analysis revealed that 27-45% of GluR1-, GluR2-, GluR2/3 and GluR4-immunopositive particles found in VGluT1- or VGluT2-positive synaptic structures in the neostriatum were associated with the presynaptic profiles of VGluT-positive axons. In contrast, VGluT-positive presynaptic profiles in the neostriatum showed almost no immunoreactivity for NMDA receptor subunits, NR1 or NR2A/B. Furthermore, almost no GluR2/3-immunipositive particles were observed in presynaptic profiles of VGluT3-positive (cholinergic) terminals that made asymmetric synapses in the neostriatum, or in those of VGluT1- or VGluT2-positive terminals in the neocortex. The present results indicate that AMPA receptor subunits but not NMDA receptor subunits are located on axon terminals of corticostriatal and thalamostriatal afferents, and suggest that glutamate released from these axon terminals controls the activity of the terminals through the presynaptic AMPA autoreceptors.