Cholinergic innervation of mouse forebrain structures

Cheryl A. Kitt, Christine Höhmann, Joseph T. Coyle, Donald L. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Using choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunocytochemistry and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) histochemistry, we investigated regional and laminar differences in cholinergic innervation in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus of mice. In mice, unlike rats, the patterns of ChAT‐immunostained and AChE‐positive fibers are virtually identical in the cortex and are organized in a trilaminar pattern with cholinergic processes prominent in layers I and IV and within the lower portion of layer V and upper segment of layer VI. ChAT‐immunoreactive cells were not seen in cortex. In the amygdala, the basolateral nucleus showed the highest density of cholinergic processes. In the hippocampus, a thin, dense band of ChAT‐labeled processes was present in the inner segment of the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus and within the stratum oriens of CA1‐3, adjacent to the basal aspect of pyramidal cells. Within the thalamus, anteroventral, mediodorsal (lateral portion), intralaminar, and reticular nuclei showed high densities of cholinergic processes. The results of this study provide the basis for examining the effects of transgenes and age on forebrain cholinergic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


  • acetylcholine
  • choline acetyltransferase
  • cholinergic neurons
  • cortex
  • rodent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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