Correlated quantitative studies of the neostriatum, nucleus accumbens, substantia nigra, and ventral tegmental area in normal and weaver mutant mice

Shirley A. Bayer, Lazaros C. Triarhou, James D. Thomas, Bernardino Ghetti

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Abstract

Normal mice (+/+) and homozygous weaver mutant mice (wv/wv) at 1 year of age were used for three-dimensional computer-aided reconstructions of the nucleus accumbens (NA) and neostriatum (ST) and for quantitative estimations of the total number of medium-sized neurons in the NA and ST, and for the total number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-containing neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra (SN). The three-dimensional reconstructions showed that the weaver NA and ST are smaller than they are in +/+. Quantitative volumetric measurements of the NA and ST showed wv/wv were smaller than +/+ by nonsignificant differences of 14% and 13%, respectively. The wv/wv group showed statistically significant depletion of neurons in all four structures. On average, NA neurons are reduced by 27%, ST neurons by 22%, VTA-TH neurons by 40%, and SN-TH neurons by 79%. In wv/wv animals, there was a high positive correlation (r = 0.836) between the numbers of SN-TH neurons and ST neurons and a moderate positive correlation (r = 0.534) between the numbers of SN-VTA neurons and NA neurons. The nuclei in TH- containing neurons in wv/wv and +/+ had the same diameters, but in all animals, the SN-TH neurons contained larger nuclei than the VTA-TH neurons. Cytoarchitectonic measurements in control and weaver NA and ST were also similar. In all animals, the NA contains more densely packed neurons with smaller nuclei than those in the ST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6901-6910
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume14
Issue number11 II
StatePublished - Nov 16 1994

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Keywords

  • cell death
  • nucleus accumbens
  • striatum
  • substantia nigra
  • three-dimensional computer reconstructions
  • ventral tegmental area
  • volumetric cell counts
  • weaver mutant mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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