Distribution of calbindin-D(28k) immunoreactivity in the monkey temporal lobe: The amygdaloid complex

A. Pitkanen, David G Amaral

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Calbindin-D(28k) is a calcium-binding protein located in a variety of neuronal cell types in many regions of the central nervous system. In the present study, we describe the distribution of calbindin-D(28k)- immunoreactive cells, fibers, and terminals in the monkey amygdaloid complex. Calbindin-D(28k)-immunoreactive neurons could be divided into four major cell types. Neurons of the first three cell types demonstrated clearly stained dendrites that were either aspiny or had a few spines on their distal portions. Type 1 cells were small, stellate, or multipolar and found throughout the amygdala. Type 2 cells were large, multipolar and were most commonly found in the deep nuclei, particularly in the lateral nucleus, intermediate division of the basal nucleus, accessory basal nucleus and in the periamygdaloid cortex. Type 3 cells were fusiform, of various sizes, and were found throughout the amygdala. Type 4 cells were quite large and lightly stained; the dendrites of these cells were usually unstained. The size, shape, and location of Type 4 labeled cell bodies suggested that they might be the large, modified pyramidal cells that constitute the projection neurons of the amygdala. Type 4 cells were observed primarily in the lateral, basal, and accessory basal nuclei and in the periamygdaloid cortex. Calbindin- D(28k)-immunoreactive fibers and terminals were difficult to observe in the amygdala partly because of a diffuse, finely granular neuropil labeling that was particularly dense in the anterior cortical and medial nuclei, in the central nucleus, and in the periamygdaloid cortex. The neuropil labeling was substantially lighter in the lateral, basal, and accessory basal nuclei. Conspicuous linear profiles resembling the 'calbindin bundles' of the neocortex were evident in large numbers in the accessory basal nucleus, the medial portion of the parvicellular division of the basal nucleus, in the amygdalohippocampal area, and in the periamygdaloid cortex. There were calbindin-D(28k)-positive fibers in the stria terminalis and in the ventral amygdalofugal pathway. When the distributions of calbindin-D(28k) and parvalbumin immunoreactivity in the monkey amygdaloid complex were compared, it appeared that the overall distribution of these two calcium-binding proteins was generally complementary rather than overlapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-224
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • amygdala
  • calcium-binding protein
  • immunohistochemistry
  • interneurons
  • primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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