Infracortical interstitial cells concurrently expressing M2-muscarinic receptors, acetylcholinesterase and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase in the human and monkey cerebral cortex

J. F. Smiley*, A. I. Levey, M. M. Mesulam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intense immunoreactivity for the m2-muscarinic receptor was found in a population of interstitial polymorphic neurons embedded within the infracortical white matter and the adjacent deep layers of the cerebral cortex. These infracortical neurons were evenly distributed throughout architectonic subdivisions of the monkey cortex except for parts of primary visual cortex where they were less numerous. A similar set of m2- immunoreactive interstitial cells was also detected in the human lateral temporal neocortex obtained at surgery. Upon electron microscopic examination, they were found to receive unlabelled synaptic inputs and displayed abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, a prominent nucleolus, and invaginations of the nuclear membrane. Double labelling of m2 immunoreactivity and acetylcholinesterase histochemistry demonstrated that approximately 90% of the m2-positive infracortical cells were acetylcholinesterase-rich in the monkey and human brains. Conversely, the proportion of acetylcholinesterase-rich infracortical neurons that were m2- immunoreactive was over 90% in the monkey and at least 50% in the human. The concurrent visualization of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) enzyme activity with m2 immunoreactivity in the monkey and human brain showed that 85-95% of m2-immunoreactive infracortical cells were NADPH-d positive. Conversely, about 70% of NADPH-d cells contained m2 immunoreactivity. These observations provide the most convincing information to date that many of the acetylcholinesterase-rich neurons located in the infracortical white matter of the cerebral cortex are likely to be cholinoceptive. The expression of NADPH-d by these neurons suggests that they may also provide a relay through which cholinergic innervation, originating predominantly from the nucleus basalis of Meynert, could regulate the release of nitric oxide in the cerebral cortex and subjacent white matter. The degeneration of these neurons may account for at least some of the depletion of m2 receptors that has been reported in Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-769
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 1998

Keywords

  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Cholinergic receptor
  • Muscarinic receptor
  • Nitric oxide
  • Primate
  • Subplate neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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