Immunocytochemical localization of glutaminase-like and aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivities in the rat and guinea pig hippocampus

R. A. Altschuler, D. T. Monaghan, W. G. Haser, R. J. Wenthold, N. P. Curthoys, C. W. Cotman

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There is considerable evidence that pathways of the hippocampus use an excitatory amino acids as transmitter. We have attempted to immunocytochemically identify excitatory amino acid neurons in the hippocampus of the rat and guinea pig using antiserum to glutaminase and antiserum to aspartate aminotransferase, which have been proposed as markers for aspartergic/glutamergic neurons. Glutaminase-like immunoreactivity was seen in granule cells in the dentate gyrus and fibers and puncta associated with the mossy fiber pathway in the hilus and stratum lucidum of the hippocampus. At the ultrastructural level, glutaminase-like immunoreactivity was observed in mossy fiber terminals in the stratum lucidum. Glutaminase-like immunoreactivity was also seen in pyramidal cells in regio inferior and regio superior and in cells in layer two of the entorhinal cortex. Schaffer collateral terminals, commissural fiber terminals and perforant pathway terminals were not seen at the light microscopic level. Glutaminase-like immunoreactivity is thus found in the cell bodies of proposed excitatory amino acid neurons of hippocampal pathways, but does not appear to label all terminals. Aspartate aminotransferase-like immunoreactivity was not seen in any cells, fibers or terminals in the rat or guinea pig hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 1985



  • aspartate aminotransferase
  • excitatory amino acids
  • glutamate
  • glutaminase
  • hippocampus
  • immunocytochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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