Two major types of striatopallidal projection neurons have been found in the basal ganglia: 1) those containing substance P (SP), dynorphin (DYN) and GABA; and 2) those containing enkephalin (ENK) and GABA. The proposed studies will determine the morphological and connectional differences that might underlie the differences between these neuronal populations in terms of their role in motor functions. The studies will be conducted in pigeons, in whom these striatopallidal neurons can readily and unambiguously be identified by their topographic location in the striatum. In one study, the relative percentages of the SP+ and ENK+ striatopallidal neurons will be determined, using retrograde labeling of striatopallidal neurons with fluorogold in combination with immunofluorescence labeling for SP and ENK. A second study will determine if the two types of striatopallidal neurons innervate pallidal neurons that project to different targets, using fluorogold to retrogradely label target-specific populations of pallidal neurons and immunofluorescence to label the SP+ and ENK+ terminals. Two final lines of study will examine at the LM and EM levels whether these two different types of striatopallidal neurons differ in terms of the relative abundance, morphological characteristics and/or somal and dendritic distribution of the inputs from the substantia nigra and cortex. Nigral inputs to the striatum will be anterogradely labeled by PHA-L injections into the substantia nigra or by immunohistochemical labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase. Cortical inputs will be visualized by anterograde labeling after PHA-L injections into cortex or by the degenerative changes observable (at the EM level) after cortical lesions. In tissue from both lines of study, SP+ striatopallidal neurons will be labeled immunohistochemically in some sections and ENK+ striatopallidal neurons in others, using a different marker than used to label the nigrostriatal and corticostriatal terminals. Since striatal organization is very similar in all amniote species, these studies will aid in understanding the nature and anatomical basis of the functional differences between these two types of striatopallidal projection neurons in the control of movement. Further, since these populations are affected in Huntington's Disease and Parkinson's Disease, these studies may aid in understanding the motor impairments observed in these neurodegenerative disorders of the basal ganglia.

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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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Neurology A Study Section (NEUA)
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University of Tennessee Health Science Center
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Reiner, Anton; Deng, Yun-Ping (2018) Disrupted striatal neuron inputs and outputs in Huntington's disease. CNS Neurosci Ther 24:250-280
Deng, Yun-Ping; Reiner, Anton (2016) Cholinergic interneurons in the Q140 knockin mouse model of Huntington's disease: Reductions in dendritic branching and thalamostriatal input. J Comp Neurol 524:3518-3529
Bruce, Laura L; Erichsen, Jonathan T; Reiner, Anton (2016) Neurochemical compartmentalization within the pigeon basal ganglia. J Chem Neuroanat 78:65-86
Reiner, Anton (2013) You are who you talk with--a commentary on Dugas-Ford et al. PNAS, 2012. Brain Behav Evol 81:146-9
Lei, Wanlong; Deng, Yunping; Liu, Bingbing et al. (2013) Confocal laser scanning microscopy and ultrastructural study of VGLUT2 thalamic input to striatal projection neurons in rats. J Comp Neurol 521:1354-77
Kuenzel, Wayne J; Medina, Loreta; Csillag, Andras et al. (2011) The avian subpallium: new insights into structural and functional subdivisions occupying the lateral subpallial wall and their embryological origins. Brain Res 1424:67-101
Butler, Ann B; Reiner, Anton; Karten, Harvey J (2011) Evolution of the amniote pallium and the origins of mammalian neocortex. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1225:14-27
Reiner, Anton; Yang, Mao; Cagle, Michael C et al. (2011) Localization of cerebellin-2 in late embryonic chicken brain: implications for a role in synapse formation and for brain evolution. J Comp Neurol 519:2225-51
Reiner, Anton; Dragatsis, Ioannis; Dietrich, Paula (2011) Genetics and neuropathology of Huntington's disease. Int Rev Neurobiol 98:325-72
Mu, Shuhua; OuYang, Lisi; Liu, Bingbing et al. (2011) Preferential interneuron survival in the transition zone of 3-NP-induced striatal injury in rats. J Neurosci Res 89:744-54

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