Tritium labelled gamma-aminobutyric acid (3H-GABA) was infused into the third ventricle of rats with normal or deafferented hypothalamus and the distribution of the label was studied by light and electron microscopic autoradiography. In control as well as deafferented hypothalamus a few neurones accumulated radioactivity, while the majority was unlabelled. Characteristic clusters and rows of silver grains were observed in the neuropil of several regions probably indicating labelled cell processes and terminal axons. Electron microscopy showed that at least some of the clusters were over axon terminals with synaptic vesicles. 3H-GABA accumulated also in the ependyma and glial elements. The results suggest that in the medial hypothalamus there is a preferential uptake of GABA in some neurones and nerve fibers; at least some of these are hypothalamic interneurones. This supports the hypothesis that some hypothalamic neurones and nerve endings may use GABA as a transmitter.
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid
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