Morphology and Distribution of Chandelier Cell Axon Terminals in the Mouse Cerebral Cortex and Claustroamygdaloid Complex


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Abstract

Chandelier cells represent a unique type of cortical γ--aminobutityric acidergic interneuron whose axon terminals (Ch-terminals) only form synapses with the axon initial segments of some pyramidal cells. Here, we have used immunocytochemistry for the high-affinity plasma membrane transporter GAT-1 and the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin to analyze the morphology and distribution of Ch-terminals in the mouse cerebral cortex and claustroamygdaloid complex. In general, 2 types of Ch-terminals were distinguished on the basis of their size and the density of the axonal boutons that made up the terminal. Simple Ch-terminals were made up of 1 or 2 rows of labeled boutons, each row consisting of only 3–5 boutons. In contrast, complex Ch-terminals were tight cylinder-like structures made up of multiple rows of boutons. Simple Ch-terminals were detected throughout the cerebral cortex and claustroamygdaloid complex, the complex type was only occasionally found in certain regions, whereas in others they were very abundant. These results indicate that there are substantial differences in the morphology and distribution of Ch-terminals between different areas and layers of the mouse cerebral cortex. Furthermore, we suggest that the distribution of complex Ch-terminals may be related to the developmental origin of the different brain regions analyzed.

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