Somatostatin-containing neurons in rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures: Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry

D. D. Kunkel, L. B. Nguyen, M. R. Harrigan, Philip A Schwartzkroin, A. T. Malouf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical techniques were used to study the interneuron population staining for somatostatin (SRIF) in cultured slices of rat hippocampus. The SRIF immunoreactive somata were most dense in stratum oriens of areas CA1 and CA3, and in the dentate hilus. Somatostatin immunoreactive cells in areas CA1 and CA3 were characteristically fusiform in shape, with dendrites that extended both parallel to and into the alveus. The axonal plexus in areas CA1 and CA3 was most dense in stratum lacunosum-moleculare and in stratum pyramidale. Electron microscopic analysis of this area revealed that the largest number of symmetric synaptic contacts from SRIF immunoreactive axons were onto pyramidal cell somata and onto dendrites in stratum lacunosum-moleculare. In the dentate gyrus, SRIF somata and dendrites were localized in the hilus. Hilar SRIF immunoreactive neurons were fusiform in shape and similar in size to those seen in CA1 and CA3. Axon collaterals coursed throughout the hilus, projected between the granule cells and into the outer molecular layer. The highest number of SRIF synaptic contacts in the dentate gyrus were seen on granule cell dendrites in the outer molecular layer. Synaptic contacts were also observed on hilar neurons and granule cell somata. SRIF synaptic profiles were seen on somata and dendrites of interneurons in all regions. The morphology and synaptic connectivity of SRIF neurons in hippocampal slice cultures appeared generally similar to intact hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Circuitry
  • In vitro
  • Interneurons
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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