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Glutamatergic excitatory neurotransmission is dependent on glutamate release from presynaptic vesicles loaded by three members of the solute carrier family, Slc17a6-8, which function as vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs). Here, we show that VGLUT2 (Slc17a6) is required for life ex utero. Vglut2 null mutant mice die immediately after birth because of(More)
Nurr1 is a transcription factor that is expressed in the embryonic ventral midbrain and is critical for the development of dopamine (DA) neurons. It belongs to the conserved family of nuclear receptors but lacks an identified ligand and is therefore referred to as an orphan receptor. Recent structural studies have indicated that Nurr1 belongs to a class of(More)
The ability of dopamine (DA) neurons to release other transmitters in addition to DA itself has been increasingly recognized, hence the concept of their multilingual nature. A subset of DA neurons, mainly found in the ventral tegmental area, express VGLUT2, allowing them to package and release glutamate onto striatal spiny projection neurons and cholinergic(More)
The "One neuron-one neurotransmitter" concept has been challenged frequently during the last three decades, and the coexistence of neurotransmitters in individual neurons is now regarded as a common phenomenon. The functional significance of neurotransmitter coexistence is, however, less well understood. Several studies have shown that a subpopulation of(More)
A major challenge in neuroscience is to resolve the connection between gene functionality, neuronal circuits, and behavior. Most, if not all, neuronal circuits of the adult brain contain a glutamatergic component, the nature of which has been difficult to assess because of the vast cellular abundance of glutamate. In this study, we wanted to determine the(More)
Recent studies have proposed that glutamate corelease by mesostriatal dopamine (DA) neurons regulates behavioral activation by psychostimulants. How and when glutamate release by DA neurons might play this role remains unclear. Considering evidence for early expression of the type 2 vesicular glutamate transporter in mesencephalic DA neurons, we(More)
The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a key area of the basal ganglia circuitry regulating movement. We identified a subpopulation of neurons within this structure that coexpresses Vglut2 and Pitx2, and by conditional targeting of this subpopulation we reduced Vglut2 expression levels in the STN by 40%, leaving Pitx2 expression intact. This reduction diminished,(More)
The natural response to itch sensation is to scratch, which relieves the itch through an unknown mechanism. Interaction between pain and itch has been frequently demonstrated, and the selectivity hypothesis of itch, based on data from electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, postulates the existence of primary pain afferents capable of repressing(More)
Recent data indicate that 'classical' neurotransmitters can also act as co-transmitters. This notion has been strengthened by the demonstration that three vesicular glutamate transporters (vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1), VGLUT2 and VGLUT3) are present in central monoamine, acetylcholine and GABA neurons, as well as in primarily glutamatergic(More)
Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors of the Cip/Kip family play critical roles in regulating cell proliferation during embryogenesis. However, these proteins also influence cell differentiation by mechanisms that have remained unknown. Here we show that p57Kip2 is expressed in postmitotic differentiating midbrain dopamine cells. Induction of p57Kip2(More)