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Although the existence of thalamostriatal projections has long been known, the role(s) of this system in the basal ganglia circuitry remains poorly characterized. The intralaminar and ventral motor nuclei are the main sources of thalamic inputs to the striatum. This review emphasizes the high degree of anatomical and functional specificity of basal(More)
Although we have gained significant knowledge in the anatomy and microcircuitry of the thalamostriatal system over the last decades, the exact function(s) of these complex networks remain(s) poorly understood. It is now clear that the thalamostriatal system is not a unique entity, but consists of multiple neural systems that originate from a wide variety of(More)
The striatum is divided into two compartments named the patch (or striosome) and the matrix. Although these two compartments can be differentiated by their neurochemical content or afferent and efferent projections, the synaptology of inputs to these striatal regions remains poorly characterized. By using the vesicular glutamate transporters vGluT1 and(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a dramatic loss of dopamine that underlies complex structural and functional changes in striatal projection neurons. A key alteration that has been reported in various rodent models and PD patients is a significant reduction in striatal dendritic spine density. Our recent findings indicate that striatal spine(More)
Two cardinal features of Parkinson's disease (PD) pathophysiology are a loss of glutamatergic synapses paradoxically accompanied by an increased glutamatergic transmission to the striatum. The exact substrate of this increased glutamatergic drive remains unclear. The striatum receives glutamatergic inputs from the thalamus and the cerebral cortex. Using(More)
The mammalian brain contains a myriad of interconnected regions. An examination of the complex circuitry of these areas requires sensitive neuroanatomical tract tracing techniques. The anterograde tracers, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L) and biotinylated dextran amines (BDA) are powerful tools that can be used to label fiber tracts that project(More)
The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mediates inhibitory signaling in the brain via stimulation of both GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)R), which are chloride-permeant ion channels, and GABA(B) receptors (GABA(B)R), which signal through coupling to G proteins. Here we report physical interactions between these two different classes of GABA(More)
While group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are known to be expressed in the rat globus pallidus (GP), their functions remain poorly understood. We used standard patch clamping technique in GP slices to determine the effect of group II mGluR activation on excitatory transmission in this region. Activation of group II mGluRs with the(More)
Kainate receptors (KARs) are widely expressed the basal ganglia. In this study, we used electron microscopic immunocytochemistry and whole-cell recording techniques to examine the localization and function of KARs in the rat globus pallidus (GP). Dendrites were the most common immunoreactive elements, while terminals forming symmetric or asymmetric synapses(More)