Subsets of spiny striosomal striatal neurons revealed in the Gad1-GFP BAC transgenic mouse

Verginia C. Cuzon Carlson, Brian N. Mathur, Margaret I. Davis, David M. Lovinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize GFP-expressing cells in the striatum of Cb6-Tg(Gad1-EGFP)G42Zjh/J mice, in which the Gad1 (also referred to as GAD67) promoter drives GFP expression (Gad1-GFP mouse). Background: GFP-expressing cells of the GAD1-GFP mouse have been described to be a population of parvalbumin-positive basket interneurons residing in the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum. However, the cells in the dorsal striatum of these mice have not been characterized. Methods: Using a combination of immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, DiI labeling, and retrograde tracing, we investigated the phenotypes of GFP-expressing cells in the GAD1-GFP mice. Results: A small number of striatal neurons express GFP in these mice. In the mature striatum, these cells are preferentially located in the lateral striatum with a strong expression in the lateral striatal streak. The GAD1-GFP positive neurons are distinct from the standard fast-spiking and low-threshold-spiking GAD-67 expressing striatal interneurons and appear to be a subset of medium spiny neurons. These neurons are generally colocalized with striosomal markers such as dynorphin, mu-opioid receptors, as well as CB1 and calretinin-immunopositive fibers. Striatal Gad1-GFP neurons can be separated into two groups based on the shape of the somata and patterns of action potential firing. Retrograde labeling indicated that a proportion of these cells are projection neurons. Conclusions: The examination of GAD1-GFP cells in these mice revealed two subpopulations of ventral striosomal striatal medium spiny neurons, based on morphology, patch-matrix segregation and membrane properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-211
Number of pages11
JournalBasal Ganglia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • BAC transgenic
  • Basal Ganglia
  • GABA
  • Medium spiny neuron
  • Patch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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