Although the anatomy and the connectivity of the deep cerebellar nuclei have been well documented, little is known about the neurotransmitter systems mediating cerebellar efferent pathways. The present study utilizes immunohistochemical procedures in conjunction with a novel monoclonal antibody specific for carbodiimide-fixed glutamate and polyclonal antisera against glutaminase (GLNase) and aspartate aminotransferase (AATase) to examine the presence of putative excitatory amino acid transmitters in neurons of the deep cerebellar nuclei. Carbodiimide-fixed glutamate-like, GLNase-like and AATase-like immunoreactivities were observed in neurons of the lateral, posterior interpositus, anterior interpositus and medial deep cerebellar nuclei. More neurons were stained with AATase antiserum than with the GLNase antiserum or the monoclonal antibody. These results suggest glutamate, GLNase and AATase are present in neurons of the deep cerebellar nuclei and raise the possibility that glutamate may be an excitatory transmitter in these structures.
- aspartate aminotransferase
- cerebellar nucleus