Co-localization of Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase and Phosphate-activated Glutaminase in Neurons of Lateral Reticular Nucleus in Feline Thalamus
Immunohistochemical methods were used to label singly and/or in combination glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD, the sole synthesizing enzyme for the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid) and phosphate-activated glutaminase (GLN, a synthesizing enzyme for glutamate) in neurons of lateral reticular nucleus (LRN) of thalamus of adult cats. (1) GAD- and GLN-immunoreactivity (IR) exhibited matching regional patterns of organization within LRN. (2) GAD- and GLN-IR co-localized within most if not all LRN neuronal cell bodies as shown by light microscopy. (3) GAD- and GLN-IR had distinct subcellular localizations in LRN neurons as shown by correlative light/electron microscopy. LRN neurons are important conceptual models where strongly inhibitory cells receive predominant excitatory glutamatergic afferents (from neocortex). Consistent with known actions of intermediary astrocytes, LRN neurons demonstrate GLN enrichment synergistically coupled with glutamatergic innervation to supplement the glutamate pool for GABA synthesis (via GAD) and for metabolic utilization (via the GABA shunt/tricarboxylic acid cycle) but not, apparently, for excitatory neurotransmission.