Light and electron microscopic demonstration of mGluR5 metabotropic glutamate receptor immunoreactive neuronal elements in the rat cerebellar cortex

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The cellular and subcellular localization of the mGluR5 metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype was studied in the rat cerebellar cortex, by using the preembedding immunoperoxidase and immunogold techniques. Light microscopic observations revealed an abundant, intense labeling of neurons in the granular layer as well as in the molecular layer. Lugaro and Golgi cells exhibited an intense mGluR5 immunoreactivity, while only a fraction of the neurons in the molecular layer were found to be mGluR5 immunopositive. In addition to a dense plexus of immunoreactive dendrites in the molecular layer of the cerebellar cortex, the mGluR5 immunopositive Golgi cell dendrites resembling axons at the light microscopic level were also labeled in the granular layer. At the ultrastructural level, mGluR5 immunoreactivity was present in neuronal elements postsynaptic to axon terminals of different morphology. By using a pre-embedding immunogold method, it was found that mGluR5 immunoreactivity is accumulated at the plasma membranes extrasynaptically as well as at the periphery of the postsynaptic specializations, mainly of the parallel fiber synaptic contacts. These findings provide morphological evidence that mGluR5 is expressed by a population of neurons in the cerebellar cortex and can synaptically be activated via the parallel fiber system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-650
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 1997



  • Golgi cell
  • Immunogold technique
  • Parallel fiber
  • Postsynaptic dendrite
  • Western blot analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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