DARPP32 is a D1-receptor associated signaling protein found in striatal projection neurons in mammals, including both substance P-containing (SP +) neurons and enkephalinergic (ENK +) projection neurons. The present study used immunohistochemical single- and double-labeling to examine the cellular localization of DARPP32 in pigeon striatum. Single-label studies revealed that DARPP32 is present in numerous medium-sized striatal perikarya and DARPP32 + axons and terminals were seen to profusely innervate the two major striatal projection targets, the pallidum and the substantia nigra. The single-labeling studies indicated that about 60% of all striatal perikarya labeled for DARPP32 + in striatum, which exceeds the abundance of either SP + or ENK + perikarya. Single-labeling studies also showed that the abundance of DARPP32 + fibers and terminals in pallidum exceeds that of either SP + or ENK + fibers and terminals in pallidum. Double-labeling found that 30-50% of striatal SP + perikarya and 7-24% of ENK + striatal perikarya labeled for DARPP32 in pigeon, and confirmed that DARPP32 was found in both SP + and ENK + fibers and terminals in pallidum. In contrast to its prevalence in striatal projection neurons, DARPP32 was virtually absent from cholinergic and NPY + striatal interneurons, as also true in mammals. Our data are consistent with the interpretation that many SP+ neurons and many ENK+ neurons in avian striatum possess D1-type dopamine receptors and use a DARPP32 signalling pathway, although this may be more common for SP + than for ENK + neurons.
- Basal ganglia
- Neuropeptide Y
- Substance P
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience