Benzodiazepine Receptors in the Striatum of the Human Brain

  • Richard L. M. Faull
  • John W. Villiger
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 32)


A major advance in our understanding on the organization of the basal ganglia in the mammalian brain has been the recent demonstration that the striatal complex comprises a mosaic of two interdigitating, chemoarchitecturally distinct compartments (Graybiel, 1983, 1984; Graybiel and Ragsdale, 1983). This organization is especially well delineated in the dorsal striatum (caudate nucleus and putamen) where one of the compartments is distinguished by patches of high concentrations of opiate peptides (Graybiel et al., 1981) and receptors (Herkenham and Pert, 1981), neurotensin-like immunoreactivity (Goedert et al., 1983), and glutamic acid decarboxylase-like immunoreactivity (Graybiel et al., 1983), and low levels of acetylcholinesterase activity which have been termed striosomes (Graybiel and Ragsdale, 1978a,b; 1979). The other complementary matrix compartment is most clearly marked by a high level of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity (Graybiel and Ragsdale, 1978a,b,1979 ; Herkenham and Pert, 1981). The validity of this compartmental ordering of the mammalian striatum is further substantiated by findings that both the cytoarchitecture (Goldman-Rakic, 1981) and input-output relations (Beckstead, 1985; Donoghue and Herkenham, 1986; Gerfen, 1984, 1985; Goldman-Rakic, 1982; Graybiel and Ragsdale, 1979; Graybiel, Ragsdale and Moon Edley, 1979; Herkenham and Pert, 1981; Selemon and Goldman-Rakic, 1985) are also organized according to the same general principles.


Caudate Nucleus Ventral Striatum Dorsal Striatum Large Arrow Mosaic Distribution 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. M. Faull
    • 1
  • John W. Villiger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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