Chemical Anatomy of the Basal Ganglia in Primates

  • A. Parent
  • Y. Smith
  • M.-Y. Arsenault
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 32)


This paper summarizes the results of our recent studies of the cellular localization of different neurotransmitters or neurotransmitter-related substances within the basal ganglia of the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus). Although most of these results pertained to the primate striatum, other components of the basal ganglia in monkeys as well as some data obtained in rats and cats will also be considered. The distribution and morphological characteristics of cholinergic neurons such as visualized by means of a pharmacohistochemical technique to reveal the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) or the immunohistochemical identification of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) will be described first. This will be followed by a survey of the immunohistochemical localization of three different neuropeptides: (1) neuropeptide Y (NPY) belonging to the pancreatic polypeptide family, (2) enkephalins (ENK), a member of the abundant and highly diversified family of opiate peptides, and (3) substance P (SP) belonging to the tachykinin family. Then, a summary of the distribution of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-immunoreactive cell bodies and terminals in the basal ganglia and of dopamine (DA)-immunoreactive cell bodies in the midbrain of the squirrel monkey will be provided. Finally, the significance of all these findings will be discussed in the light of the wealth of information presently available on the complex organization of the various chemospecific neuronal systems involved in the functional organization of the primate basal ganglia.


Substantia Nigra Ventral Tegmental Area Caudate Nucleus Cholinergic Neuron Globus Pallidus 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Parent
    • 1
  • Y. Smith
    • 1
  • M.-Y. Arsenault
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Faculté de MédecineUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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