Immunohistochemical localization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit α6 to dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area

Finn M. Göldner, Kelly T. Dineley, James W. Patrick

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PARTICIPATION of the neuronal nicotinic receptor subunit α6 in a physiologically relevant receptor has yet to be demonstrated, but its high degree of expression in catecholaminergic nuclei has attracted considerable interest. To investigate the pattern of expression of the α6 protein, a subunit specific antibody against the α6 subunit was used to immunohistochemically label sections of the adult rat brain. α6 immunoreactivity was found to be present in the substantia nigra, the ventral tegmental area, the locus coeruleus and the medial habenula, and double- labeling for tyrosine hydroxylase demonstrated that the α6 protein is present on dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain. A possible role for the α6 subunit in nicotinic modulation of dopaminergic transmission is therefore proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2739-2742
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997



  • Acetylcholine receptor
  • Dopaminergic
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nicotinic
  • Substantia nigra
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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