Calcium Binding Proteins Differentiate Midbrain Dopaminergic Systems in Humans

  • Deborah A. McRitchie
  • Glenda M. Halliday
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 44)


Calbindin-D-28k, parvalbumin and calretinin are members of the EF-hand family of calcium-modulated proteins (Persechini et al., 1989). As these proteins are cytosolic (Pasteels et al., 1986), they have been used widely as anatomical markers to elucidate the morphology of the neurons in which they reside. Previous studies in the rat have found that these calcium binding proteins are distributed widely throughout the central nervous system in exclusive populations of neurons (Celio, 1990; Arai et al., 1991; Résibois and Rogers, 1992; Rogers, 1992). Within the substantia nigra (A9), calbindin and calretinin are found in the pars compacta (Celio, 1990; Arai et al., 1991; Résibois and Rogers, 1992; Rogers, 1992), while parvalbumin and calretinin are localized within the pars reticulata (Celio, 1990; Arai et al., 1991; Résibois and Rogers, 1992; Rogers, 1992). More specifically, calbindin and calretinin are present in the dorsal tier (Gerfen et al., 1987; Celio, 1990; Rogers, 1992) of the pars compacta with up to 28% of neurons containing both proteins (Rogers, 1992). In contrast, calretinin alone is found in the ventral tier (Rogers, 1992). Within the retrorubral fields (A8), all three of these calcium binding proteins are found (Celio, 1990; Rogers, 1992). A large proportion of neurons in the A10 cell groups colocalize both calbindin and calretinin (Rogers, 1992). Neurons within these distinct groups have differential projections to matrix and patch components of the striatum (Gerfen et al., 1987; Jimenez-Castellanos and Graybiel, 1987).


Substantia Nigra Calcium Binding Protein Multipolar Neuron Differential Projection Dorsal Tier 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah A. McRitchie
    • 1
  • Glenda M. Halliday
    • 1
  1. 1.Prince of Wales Medical Research InstitutePrince of Wales HospitalRandwickAustralia

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