Glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 mRNA regulation in two globus pallidus neuron populations by dopamine and the subthalamic nucleus.
The globus pallidus external segment forms a major target center of the mammalian striatum which is characterized by neurochemically distinct compartments. The present study was undertaken to determine if a corresponding compartmentalization exists within the globus pallidus external segment in the rat. Immunocytochemical examination of the calcium-binding proteins parvalbumin and calbindin D28kDa, which are present in neurons of the striatal matrix compartment, was employed. The results indicate three neurochemically distinct compartments within the globus pallidus external segment: 1) an area in the medial aspect of the entire length of the globus pallidus that contains dense immunoreactivity for calbindin D28kDa; 2) a narrow rim at the striatopallidal junction in the rostral two-thirds of the globus palidus that contains calbindin D28kDa immunoreactivity designated as the "border zone" of the globus pallidus; and 3) an area between these two zones showing very poor immunoreactivity for calbindin D28kDa but containing parvalbumin immunoreactive neurons. The calbindin D28kDa immunoreactive border zone corresponds to the area of the globus pallidus where striatal inputs converge extensively, whereas the rest of the nucleus is involved in segregated, topographically organized pathways. Parvalbumin-containing neurons are involved in the propagation of striatal output related to striosomal and sensorimotor aspects of basal ganglia function. The present results also indicate that calbindin D28kDa immunoreactivity is completely absent from striosomal neurons and is therefore a useful marker for striatal compartments.