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An immunohistochemical study of the substance P neuronal system in the primate brain : basal ganglia and neocortex Beach, Thomas Gerald


Using immunohistochemical methods I have studied the distribution of substance P fibers, terminals and perikarya throughout the basal ganglia and neocortex of baboons and at selected levels of the human brain. Immunoreactivity in the substantia nigra pars reticulata, internal segment of the globus pallidus and ventral pallidum was dense and of a characteristic, "woolly fiber" morphology. The caudate nucleus and putamen contained sharply circumscribed patches of dense immunoreactivity superimposed on a moderately stained background. The external division of the globus pallidus displayed very little immunoreactivity. Two morphological types of immunoreactive cell bodies were present in the caudate nucleus, putamen and nucleus accumbens, and were clustered within the dense patches. The distribution of immunoreactive perikarya within the striatum differed from that reported for rats, as stained neurons were distributed evenly throughout the rostro-caudal extent rather than being concentrated in the rostral portions. This work represents the first detailed examination of the distribution of substance P-containing neuronal structures in the primate basal ganglia. It confirms recent published reports which have shown that the striatum is not a homogeneous structure, as it has long been regarded, but is subdivided into zones with differing neuroanatomical connections and neurotransmitter content. The neocortex was not studied as intensively as the basal ganglia, but it was conclusively established that substance P-immunoreactive neurons exist throughout the neocortex.

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