Distinct adenosine deaminase-containing inputs to the substantia nigra from the striatum and tuberomammillary nucleus

T. Yamamoto, W. A. Staines, K. Dewar, J. D. Geiger, P. E. Daddona, J. I. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Immunohistochemical, neuroanatomical and lesion methods were used to investigate the projections of adenosine deaminase immunoreactive (ADA-IR) neurons in the striatum (caudate/putamen) and hypothalamus to the substantia nigra (SN). Striatal ADA-IR neurons were distributed within two zones; anteriorly in the medial and ventromedial extreme of the head and body of the striatum, and posteriorly in the tail of the striatum. The posterior hypothalamus contained ADA-positive neurons which were confined to the tuberomammillary nucleus (TM). The SN was devoid of ADA-positive neurons, but contained two distinct types of ADA-IR fiber terminations. One type was confined to bands located at the ventrolateral and dorsomedial borders of the pars reticulata and consisted of fine puncta. The other type was distributed throughout the SN and consisted of long, beaded fibers. Injections of the retrograde tracer Fluoro-gold (FG) into the SN gave rise to FG-labelling of significant numbers of ADA-IR neurons in both the striatum and TM. Medical SN injections preferentially labelled ADA-IR neurons in the anterior striatum and lateral SN injections labelled posterior ADA-IR striatal neurons. Kainic acid lesions of the anterior medial striatum selectively abolished the punctate ADA-IR band in the medial SN and left the long, ADA-IR nigral fibers in an apparently hypertrophied state. Despite depletion of ADA-IR neurons in the striatum by kainic acid, ADA activity increased significantly at striatal lesion sites. The results suggest that the SN receives two topographically segregated fine terminal fields from striatal ADA-IR neurons, and a substantial innervation from ADA-IR neurons in the TM as well. These findings add to the heterogeneous chemical composition of nigral afferents and are discussed in the context of adenosine neuromodulatory mechanisms in the striatonigral system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-124
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 22 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenosine deaminase
  • Fluorescence retrograde tracing
  • Hypothalamus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Striatum
  • Substantia nigra
  • Tuberomammillary nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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