UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acetylcholinesterase and the basal ganglia : from cytology to function Lehmann, John


Biochemical, anatomical, and histochemical studies were performed in the basal ganglia with an emphasis on the localization of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The existence of the enzyme in dopaminergic nigro-striatal neurons was demonstrated. Descending striato-nigral and pallido-nigral axons did not contain detectable amounts of AChE. A cell group called the nucleus basalis magno-cellularis, intimately associated with the globus pallidus, was found to contain high levels of AChE; furthermore, these neurons were shown to be the source of a cholinergic projection to the neocortex. In the striatum, large neurons containing high levels of AChE were found to be likely candidates as..the cholinergic neuron of the striatum. Cholinergic perikarya were found to be absent in the neocortex; nor were perikarya synthesizing large amounts of AChE found in the neocortex. An empirical hypothesis was formulated on the basis of these and other findings regarding cholinergic neurons: High levels of AChE are a necessary but not sufficient criterion for identifying cholinergic perikarya.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.