Vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGLUT3) identifies spatially segregated excitatory terminals in the rat substantia nigra

  • Martín-Ibañez R
  • Jenstad M
  • Berghuis P
 et al. 
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The excitability of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra is controlled by the convergent activity of multiple glutamatergic afferents. Here, we show that vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGLUT3)-immunoreactive (ir) terminals segregate to the perisomatic region of DA neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and VGLUT3 decorates a synapse population distinct from those marked by vesicular glutamate transporters 1 and 2. VGLUT3-ir nerve endings form asymmetric terminals on DA neurons. Retrograde tracing suggests the superior colliculus as an origin of excitatory VGLUT3-ir afferents. Collectively, our data indicate that VGLUT3 identifies a novel excitatory terminal subset that contributes to the tuning of DA cell excitability in the substantia nigra.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Basal ganglia
  • Excitation
  • Glutamate
  • Midbrain

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  • Hiroyuki HiokiJuntendo University Graduate School of Medicine

  • Raquel Martín-Ibañez

  • Monica Jenstad

  • Paul Berghuis

  • Robert H. Edwards

  • Takeshi Kaneko

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