Perisomatic glutamatergic axon terminals: A novel feature of cortical synaptology revealed by vesicular glutamate transporter 1 immunostaining

L. Alonso-Nanclares, A. Minelli, M. Melone, R. H. Edwards, J. Defelipe, F. Conti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The cellular localization of the vesicular glutamate transporter 1, VGLUT1, was studied in the rat cerebral cortex with immunocytochemical techniques. VGLUT1 immunoreactivity (ir) was localized to punctate structures dispersed in the neuropil of all cortical layers as well as around the profile of somata and proximal dendritic segments of virtually all pyramidal neurons. Using a correlative light and electron microscopic method, we found that VGLUT1 ir is expressed in axon terminals forming synapses exclusively with dendritic shafts and spines. Perisomatic VGLUT1-positive terminals never formed synapses with the pyramidal cell bodies to which they were in apposition, but formed asymmetric synapses with adjacent neuropilar dendritic elements. The high probability of a close spatial relationship between glutamatergic and GABAergic terminals in perisomatic regions suggests that spilled-out glutamate may act on inhibitory axon terminals innervating the soma of cortical pyramidal neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience
Volume123
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Glutamate
  • Neocortex
  • Spillout
  • Synapses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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