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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Two distinct populations of cholinergic neurons in the septum of raccoon (Procyon lotor): evidence for a separate subset in the lateral septum.

The present study focused on cholinergic neurons in the lateral septal region of the raccoon detected by choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-immunostaining. For comparison of the cholinergic neurons of the medial and lateral septal nuclei, soma sizes were measured, and several antibodies were applied that differentially characterize these cells in several species: low-affinity neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75(NTR)), calbindin-D(28k) (CALB), and constitutive nitric oxide synthase (cNOS). To compare the basic organization of the raccoon septum with that in other mammals, parvalbumin (PARV) immunocytochemistry and Wisteria floribunda-agglutinin (WFA) lectin histochemistry also were used in double-staining experiments. The ChAT-immunoreactive neurons of the rostral lateral septum are arranged in laminae. Accumulations of cholinergic varicosities, often clearly ensheathing noncholinergic neurons, occupy small territories of the rostral septum. Such regions become larger in the caudal septum. They are assumed to correspond to the septohippocampal and septofimbrial nuclei of the rat. In contrast to the large medial septal cholinergic neurons of the raccoon that contain p75(NTR), CALB, and cNOS, the cholinergic neurons of the lateral septum are smaller and do not express these markers. A further peculiarity is that the region of the lateral septum that contains cholinergic neurons corresponds to WFA-labelled extracellular matrix zones that contain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. In addition to clustered thread- or ring-like accumulations of the WFA, sparsely labelled perineuronal nets surround the lateral septal cholinergic neurons. Similar to other species that have been investigated, perineuronal nets are completely absent around cholinergic cells of the medial septum. The PARV-containing neurons of this region, however, are enwrapped by perineuronal nets as they are in the rat. Within the medial septum, the PARV-containing neurons are restricted to ventral bilateral territories that are devoid of cholinergic cells. In this respect, they differ from the more vertically arranged PARV-containing medial septal cells in rodents and primates. Apart from striking differences in numbers and distribution patterns, the raccoon lateral septal cholinergic neurons resemble those detected by Kimura et al. (Brain Res [1990] 533:165-170) in the ventrolateral septal region of rat and monkey. Their participation in the functions of the lateral septum remains to be elucidated.[1]


  1. Two distinct populations of cholinergic neurons in the septum of raccoon (Procyon lotor): evidence for a separate subset in the lateral septum. Brauer, K., Holzer, M., Brückner, G., Tremere, L., Rasmusson, D.D., Poethke, R., Arendt, T., Härtig, W. J. Comp. Neurol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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