Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) immunocytochemistry of developing rabbit hippocampus

D. D. Kunkel, A. E. Hendricson, J. Y. Wu, Philip A Schwartzkroin

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53 Scopus citations


Immunocytochemical techniques were used to examine the synaptic relations of inhibitory interneurons in the developing rabbit hippocampus. Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the synthesizing enzyme for the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, was found in interneurons of immature (8 d old) as well as mature (30 d old) tissue. GAD-immunoreactivity was seen in somata, dendrites, and axon terminals of interneurons at both ages. Electron-microscopic examination revealed that GAD-positive 'terminals' in immature tissue were often not associated with the usual synaptic specializations, but were rather in simple apposition to the 'postsynaptic' element. In mature tissue, GAD-positive terminals made symmetric contacts primarily with pyramidal cell somata, initial segments, and proximal dendrites. In addition, GAD-positive terminals synapsed onto both GAD-positive and GAD-negative interneuron profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-552
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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