Local circuit neurons in the rat ventrobasal thalamus--a GABA immunocytochemical study

Neuroscience
R M Harris, A E Hendrickson

Abstract

The ventrobasal thalamus of seven rats was processed for immunocytochemistry using antisera to glutamate decarboxylase or gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA). Glutamate decarboxylase-stained sections showed a network of stained fibers and terminals but no stained cell bodies. GABA-stained sections had fewer stained fibers and terminals but did show a few stained cell bodies. Cell bodies were especially apparent when carbazole was used for a chromogen for the peroxidase-antiperoxidase visualization. The GABA-stained cells were found to be distributed throughout the ventrobasal complex, to have smaller soma cross-sectional areas than most other cells (81 +/- 34 microns vs 105 +/- 36 microns for all cells) and to make up 0.4 +/- 0.3% of the neuronal population of the ventrobasal complex. Injections of horseradish peroxidase into the somatosensory cortex (SI) retrogradely filled many neurons in the ventrobasal thalamus, but none of these labeled neurons were double labeled with GABA. These results indicate that the GABA-labeled cells probably represent a small population of local circuit neurons in the rat ventrobasal thalamus.

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