An electron microscopic analysis of the nucleus basalis in the macaque monkey was carried out following the immunohistochemical labeling of choline acetyltransferase, either by itself or in conjunction with glutamate decarboxylase or tyrosine hydroxylase. Cholinergic axon varicosities were frequently encountered, and formed large, usually asymmetric, synapses on both choline acetyltransferase-immunopositive and -immunonegative dendrites of nucleus basalis neurons. Catecholaminergic (tyrosine hydroxylase- immunoreactive) axon varicosities formed synapses which in most cases were classified as asymmetric, and glutamate decarboxylase-immunoreactive (GABAergic) axons formed clearly symmetric synapses, each on to choline acetyltransferase-immunopositive or -immunonegative dendrites. These findings indicate that cholinergic cells in the nucleus basalis of the monkey, also known as Ch4 neurons, receive numerous synaptic inputs from cholinergic, catecholaminergic and GABAergic axons.
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