GABAA receptors containing alpha 1 and beta 2 subunits are mainly localized on neurons in the ventral pallidum

L Churchill, A Bourdelais, MC Austin, S J Lolait, L C Mahan, A M O'Carroll, P W Kalivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) projection from the nucleus accumbens to the ventral pallidum (VP) is important in the regulation of locomotion. Thus, stimulation and inhibition of GABAA receptors in the VP can alter locomotor activity. To determine whether the GABAA receptors are located presynaptically on accumbens efferents to the VP or postsynaptically on neurons intrinsic to the VP two experiments were performed. In the first, quinolinic acid lesions of the nucleus accumbens did not alter [3H]muscimol binding in the VP, while lesions in the VP significantly reduced (60-80%) binding as measured by light microscopic receptor autoradiography. In the second experiment, in situ hybridization with oligonucleotide probes for mRNAs of the alpha 1 and beta 2 subunits of the GABAA receptor was examined in the nucleus accumbens and VP. No mRNA for either subunit was observed in the nucleus accumbens, although many positively labeled neurons were present within the VP. By contrast, a moderate to high density of cells in both the nucleus accumbens and VP contained mRNA for glutamic acid decarboxylase. These data argue that the majority of GABAA receptors in the VP are not located presynaptically on axonal terminals originating from neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1991


  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • DNA Probes
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • Male
  • Muscimol
  • Nerve Endings
  • Neurons
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Nucleus Accumbens
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Quinolinic Acid
  • Quinolinic Acids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, GABA-A

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