Striatum

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The striatum, also known as neostriatum or striate nucleus, is a subcortical (i.e., inside, rather than on the outside) part of the forebrain. It is the major input station of the basal ganglia system. The striatum, in turn, gets input from the cerebral cortex. In primates (including humans), the striatum is divided by a white matter tract called the internal capsule into two sectors called the caudate nucleus and putamen.[1]

Contents

History

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the term "corpus striatum" was used to designate many distinct, deep, infracortical elements of the hemisphere (Vieussens, 1685). The Vogts (C├ęcile and Oskar, 1941) simplified the nomenclature by proposing the term striatum for all elements built with striatal elements (see Primate basal ganglia system): the caudate, the putamen, and the fundus striati, that ventral part linking the two precedings together ventrally to the inferior part of the internal capsule.

The term neostriatum was forged by comparative anatomists comparing the subcortical structures between vertebrates because it was thought to be a phylogenetically newer section of the corpus striatum. The term is still used by some sources, including MeSH.[2]

Cell types

The striatum is heterogeneous in terms of neurons. It is composed of these neuronal cell types:[3]

  • Medium spiny neurons so called due to the presence of spines on the dendrites, and making up 96% of the striatum.
  • Deiters' neurons (2%) with large, minimally branched arborizations looking like pallidonigral neurons.
  • Cholinergic interneurons (1%). In primates, they are the tonically active neurons, and morphologically entirely different from those observed in rodents. These briefly stop firing in response to behaviorally-salient and reward-related events.
  • GABAergic parvalbumin expressing interneurons, which are fast-spiking, and express dopamine receptors.
  • GABAergic calretinin expressing interneurons.
  • GABAergic somatostatin expressing interneurons, which are low-threshold-spiking and express dopamine receptors.

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