Literature context: :1000; 131003 Synaptic Systems; RRID:AB_887869), polyclonal guinea pig anti-vG
Cerebellins are synaptic organizer molecules that bind to presynaptic neurexins and postsynaptic receptors. They are well studied in the cerebellum, but three of the four cerebellins (Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4) are also broadly expressed outside of the cerebellum, suggesting that they perform general functions throughout the brain. Here, we generated male and female constitutive single (KO), double KO (dKO), and triple KO (tKO) mice of Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4. We found that all constitutive cerebellin-deficient mice were viable and fertile, suggesting that cerebellins are not essential for survival. Cbln1/2 dKO mice exhibited salience-induced seizures that were aggravated in Cbln1/2/4 tKO mice, suggesting that all cerebellins contribute to brain function. As described previously, Cbln1 KO mice displayed major motor impairments that were aggravated by additional KO of Cbln2. Strikingly, the Cbln1/2 dKO did not cause alterations in synapse density in the hippocampus of young adult (1- and 2-month-old) mice, but produced a selective ∼50% decrease in hippocampal synapse density in the stratum lacunosum moleculare of the CA1 region and in the dentate gyrus of aging, 6-month-old mice. A similar decrease in excitatory synapse density was observed in the striatum and retrosplenial cortex. Behaviorally, the Cbln1 KO produced dramatic changes in motor behaviors that were partly aggravated by additional deletion of Cbln2 and/or Cbln4. Our results show that cerebellins are not essential for survival and do not contribute to initial synapse formation, but perform multiple functions throughout the brain; as a consequence, their ablation results in a delayed loss of synapses and in behavioral impairments.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cerebellins (Cbln1-4) are trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules. In the cerebellum, Cbln1 functions as a bidirectional organizer of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses by binding to presynaptic neurexins and postsynaptic GluRδ2. Little is known about the function of cerebellins outside of the cerebellum; therefore, the present study used single, double, and triple constitutive KO mice of Cbln1, Cbln2, and Cbln4 to analyze the overall function of cerebellins. We show that cerebellins act as important synaptic organizers in specific subsets of neurons and likely contribute to many different brain functions. We also show that cerebellins are not initially required for synapse formation, but rather for specification and long-term synapse maintenance and demonstrate that all cerebellins, not just Cbln1, contribute to brain function.
Many biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes such as glucose metabolism, body temperature, and sleep-wake cycles show regular daily rhythms. These circadian rhythms are adjusted to the environmental light-dark cycle by a central pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in order for the processes to occur at appropriate times of day. Here, we investigated the expression and function of a synaptic organizing protein, C1QL3, in the SCN. We found that C1ql3 is robustly expressed in the SCN. C1ql3 knockout mice have a reduced density of excitatory synapses in the SCN. In addition, these mice exhibited less consolidated activity to the active portions of the day and period lengthening following a 15-minute phase-delaying light pulse. These data identify C1QL3 as a signaling molecule that is highly expressed in SCN neurons, where it contributes to the formation and/or maintenance of glutamatergic synapses and plays a role in circadian behaviors, which may include circadian aftereffects.
Literature context: aptic Systems Cat. No. 131 003; RRID:AB_887869 VGAT [host Gp; Dil 1:500] Synap
Rhythmic medial septal (MS) GABAergic input coordinates cortical theta oscillations. However, the rules of innervation of cortical cells and regions by diverse septal neurons are unknown. We report a specialized population of septal GABAergic neurons, the Teevra cells, selectively innervating the hippocampal CA3 area bypassing CA1, CA2, and the dentate gyrus. Parvalbumin-immunopositive Teevra cells show the highest rhythmicity among MS neurons and fire with short burst duration (median, 38 ms) preferentially at the trough of both CA1 theta and slow irregular oscillations, coincident with highest hippocampal excitability. Teevra cells synaptically target GABAergic axo-axonic and some CCK interneurons in restricted septo-temporal CA3 segments. The rhythmicity of their firing decreases from septal to temporal termination of individual axons. We hypothesize that Teevra neurons coordinate oscillatory activity across the septo-temporal axis, phasing the firing of specific CA3 interneurons, thereby contributing to the selection of pyramidal cell assemblies at the theta trough via disinhibition. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Literature context: 1000; Wang et al., 2006), VGAT (131-003, Synaptic Systems, 1:500; Stens
The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), has been shown to be an obligate regulator of synaptic stability and pruning during critical periods of cortical maturation. However, the functional consequences of NCAM deletion on the organization of inhibitory circuits in cortex are not known. In vesicular gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) transporter (VGAT)-channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2)-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) transgenic mice, NCAM is expressed postnatally at perisomatic synaptic puncta of EYFP-labeled parvalbumin, somatostatin and calretinin-positive interneurons, and in the neuropil in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). To investigate how NCAM deletion affects the spatial organization of inhibitory inputs to pyramidal cells, we used laser scanning photostimulation in brain slices of VGAT-ChR2-EYFP transgenic mice crossed to either NCAM-null or wild type (WT) mice. Laser scanning photostimulation revealed that NCAM deletion increased the strength of close-in inhibitory connections to layer 2/3 pyramidal cells of the ACC. In addition, in NCAM-null mice, the intrinsic excitability of pyramidal cells increased, whereas the intrinsic excitability of GABAergic interneurons did not change. The increase in inhibitory tone onto pyramidal cells, and the increased pyramidal cell excitability in NCAM-null mice will alter the delicate coordination of excitation and inhibition (E/I coordination) in the ACC, and may be a factor contributing to circuit dysfunction in diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in which NCAM has been implicated.
Literature context: VGATSynaptic SystemCat# 131003; RRID: AB_887869Mouse monoclonal anti-NeuNMillip
Appropriate growth and synaptic integration of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons are essential for functional neural circuits in the brain. Here, we demonstrate that disruption of primary cilia function following the selective loss of ciliary GTPase Arl13b in interneurons impairs interneuronal morphology and synaptic connectivity, leading to altered excitatory/inhibitory activity balance. The altered morphology and connectivity of cilia mutant interneurons and the functional deficits are rescued by either chemogenetic activation of ciliary G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling or the selective induction of Sstr3, a ciliary GPCR, in Arl13b-deficient cilia. Our results thus define a specific requirement for primary cilia-mediated GPCR signaling in interneuronal connectivity and inhibitory circuit formation.
Literature context: ems 131-003 RRID:AB_887869 VGLUT1 Guinea pig 1:500 Millipo
Proper neural circuit formation requires the precise regulation of neuronal migration, axon guidance, and dendritic arborization. Mutations affecting the function of the transmembrane glycoprotein dystroglycan cause a form of congenital muscular dystrophy that is frequently associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Despite its importance in brain development, the role of dystroglycan in regulating retinal development remains poorly understood. Using a mouse model of dystroglycanopathy (ISPDL79* ) and conditional dystroglycan mutants of both sexes, we show that dystroglycan is critical for the proper migration, axon guidance, and dendritic stratification of neurons in the inner retina. Using genetic approaches, we show that dystroglycan functions in neuroepithelial cells as an extracellular scaffold to maintain the integrity of the retinal inner limiting membrane. Surprisingly, despite the profound disruptions in inner retinal circuit formation, spontaneous retinal activity is preserved. These results highlight the importance of dystroglycan in coordinating multiple aspects of retinal development.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The extracellular environment plays a critical role in coordinating neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth during neural circuit development. The transmembrane glycoprotein dystroglycan functions as a receptor for multiple extracellular matrix proteins and its dysfunction leads to a form of muscular dystrophy frequently associated with neurodevelopmental defects. Our results demonstrate that dystroglycan is required for maintaining the structural integrity of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in the developing retina. In the absence of functional dystroglycan, ILM degeneration leads to defective migration, axon guidance, and mosaic spacing of neurons and a loss of multiple neuron types during retinal development. These results demonstrate that disorganization of retinal circuit development is a likely contributor to visual dysfunction in patients with dystroglycanopathy.
Literature context: aptic System, Germany, #131003, RRID:AB_887869; 1:500 rat, 1:400 mouse) (Takam
In the neocortex of adult rats VGLUT1 and VGAT co-localize in axon terminals which form both symmetric and asymmetric synapses. They are expressed in the same synaptic vesicles which participate in the exo-endocytotic cycle. Virtually nothing, however, is known on whether VGLUT1/VGAT co-localization occurs in other brain regions. We therefore mapped the distribution of terminals co-expressing VGLUT1/VGAT in the striatum, hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebellar and cerebral cortices of rats and mice. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that, in both rat and mouse brain, VGLUT1/VGAT+ terminals were present in all brain regions studied, and that their percentage was low and comparable in both species. These results provide the first demonstration that co-expression of VGLUT1 and VGAT is a widespread phenomenon. Since VGLUT1/VGAT+ axon terminals are regulated in an activity-dependent manner and co-release glutamate and GABA, we hypothesize that, though not numerous, they can contribute to regulating excitation/inhibition balance in physiological conditions, thereby playing a role in several neurological and psychiatric diseases.
Literature context: t#131003, RRID:AB_887869 Vglut2 Syn
Synaptic excitation mediates a broad spectrum of structural changes in neural circuits across the brain. Here, we examine the morphologies, wiring, and architectures of single synapses of projection neurons in the murine hippocampus that developed in virtually complete absence of vesicular glutamate release. While these neurons had smaller dendritic trees and/or formed fewer contacts in specific hippocampal subfields, their stereotyped connectivity was largely preserved. Furthermore, loss of release did not disrupt the morphogenesis of presynaptic terminals and dendritic spines, suggesting that glutamatergic neurotransmission is unnecessary for synapse assembly and maintenance. These results underscore the instructive role of intrinsic mechanisms in synapse formation.
Literature context: T (1:500, RRID:AB_887869); guinea p
In a presynaptic nerve terminal, synaptic strength is determined by the pool of readily releasable vesicles (RRP) and the probability of release (P) of each RRP vesicle. These parameters are controlled at the active zone and vary across synapses, but how such synapse specific control is achieved is not understood. ELKS proteins are enriched at vertebrate active zones and enhance P at inhibitory hippocampal synapses, but ELKS functions at excitatory synapses are not known. Studying conditional knockout mice for ELKS, we find that ELKS enhances the RRP at excitatory synapses without affecting P. Surprisingly, ELKS C-terminal sequences, which interact with RIM, are dispensable for RRP enhancement. Instead, the N-terminal ELKS coiled-coil domains that bind to Liprin-α and Bassoon are necessary to control RRP. Thus, ELKS removal has differential, synapse-specific effects on RRP and P, and our findings establish important roles for ELKS N-terminal domains in synaptic vesicle priming.
Literature context: 00Synaptic Systems; 131 004RRID:AB_887869EMvGLUT1rabbit1:10,000Synaptic S
In adult rodent olfactory bulb, GABAergic signaling regulates migration, differentiation, and synaptic integration of newborn granule cells (GCs), migrating from the subventricular zone. Here we show that these effects depend on the formation of a postsynaptic scaffold organized by gephyrin-the main scaffolding protein of GABAergic synapses, which anchors receptors and signaling molecules to the postsynaptic density-and are regulated by the phosphorylation status of gephyrin. Using lentiviral vectors to selectively transfect adult-born GCs, we observed that overexpression of the phospho-deficient gephyrin mutant eGFP-gephyrin(S270A), which facilitates the formation of supernumerary GABAergic synapses in vitro, favors dendritic branching and the formation of transient GABAergic synapses on spines, identified by the presence of α2-GABAA Rs. In contrast, overexpression of the dominant-negative eGFP-gephyrin(L2B) (a chimera that is enzymatically active but clustering defective), curtailed dendritic growth, spine formation, and long-term survival of GCs, pointing to the essential role of gephyrin cluster formation for its function. We could exclude any gephyrin overexpression artifacts, as GCs infected with eGFP-gephyrin were comparable to those infected with eGFP alone. The opposite effects induced by the two gephyrin mutant constructs indicate that the gephyrin scaffold at GABAergic synapses orchestrates signaling cascades acting on the cytoskeleton to regulate neuronal growth and synapse formation. Specifically, gephyrin phosphorylation emerges as a novel mechanism regulating morphological differentiation and long-term survival of adult-born olfactory bulb neurons.
Literature context: 31003/24; RRID:AB_887869), the Ms m
We studied the effect of clonal overexpression of neuroligin 3 (NL3) or neuroligin 2 (NL2) in the adult rat cerebral cortex following in utero electroporation (IUEP) at embryonic stage E14. Overexpression of NL3 leads to a large increase in vesicular gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter (vGAT) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)65 in the GABAergic contacts that the overexpressing neurons receive. Overexpression of NL2 produced a similar effect but to a lesser extent. In contrast, overexpression of NL3 or NL2 after IUEP does not affect vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (vGlut1) in the glutamatergic contacts that the NL3 or NL2-overexpressing neurons receive. The NL3 or NL2-overexpressing neurons do not show increased innervation by parvalbumin-containing GABAergic terminals or increased parvalbumin in the same terminals that show increased vGAT. These results indicate that the observed increase in vGAT and GAD65 is not due to increased GABAergic innervation but to increased expression of vGAT and GAD65 in the GABAergic contacts that NL3 or NL2-overexpressing neurons receive. The majority of bright vGAT puncta contacting the NL3-overexpressing neurons have no gephyrin juxtaposed to them, indicating that many of these contacts are nonsynaptic. This contrasts with the majority of the NL2-overexpressing neurons, which show plenty of synaptic gephyrin clusters juxtaposed to vGAT. Besides having an effect on GABAergic contacts, overexpression of NL3 interferes with the neuronal radial migration, in the cerebral cortex, of the neurons overexpressing NL3.
Literature context: , 131003, RRID:AB_887869 1:1000
SorCS3 is a member of the Vps10p-D receptor family. These type I transmembrane proteins are regarded as sorting receptors, and some family members modulate signal transduction pathways by acting as co-receptors. SorCS3 binds the nerve growth factor (NGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB), but the functional implications of these interactions are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that SorCS3 is almost exclusively expressed in the nervous system and is localized to vesicular structures. By using in situ hybridization, we analyze SorCS3 dynamic expression during embryonic and postnatal development and compare the expression pattern with those of the homologous genes SorCS1 and SorCS2. SorCS3 transcripts are widely distributed in the nervous system but are absent from the embryonic cerebral cortex. SorCS3 expression marks thalamic nuclei at embryonic and early postnatal stages. However, during postnatal development and in the adult, a switch in the localization of SorCS3 transcripts was observed. At these stages forebrain structures, such as the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex, show most prominent expression. The developmental expression pattern of SorCS3 is in accordance with the proposed function as a receptor for growth factors or morphogenic signals. On the cellular level, we demonstrate that the SorCS3 cytoplasmic domain targets receptors to the Golgi apparatus, vesicular structures, and the cell surface. In neurons, receptors are localized to vesicles in the soma and dendrites. Moreover, we show that the SorCS3 cytoplasmic domain conveys internalization through canonical endocytic motifs in an adaptor protein 2 (AP-2)-dependent way. This is in agreement with a proposed function as a neuronal sorting receptor.
Literature context: #131 003, RRID:AB_887869), mouse an
Most excitatory synapses in the mammalian brain are formed on dendritic spines, and spine density has a profound impact on synaptic transmission, integration, and plasticity. Membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) proteins are intracellular scaffolding proteins with well established roles in synapse function. However, whether MAGUK proteins are required for the formation of dendritic spines in vivo is unclear. We isolated a novel disc large-5 (Dlg5) allele in mice, Dlg5(LP), which harbors a missense mutation in the DLG5 SH3 domain, greatly attenuating its ability to interact with the DLG5 GUK domain. We show here that DLG5 is a MAGUK protein that regulates spine formation, synaptogenesis, and synaptic transmission in cortical neurons. DLG5 regulates synaptogenesis by enhancing the cell surface localization of N-cadherin, revealing a key molecular mechanism for regulating the subcellular localization of this cell adhesion molecule during synaptogenesis.
Literature context: RabbitSigmaG66421:5000VGATRabbitSYSY1310031:1000BDAGoatList7031:2000G.P.,
The sublaterodorsal nucleus (SLD) in the pons of the rat is a locus supporting short-latency induction of a REM sleep-like state following local application of a GABAA receptor antagonist or kainate, glutamate receptor agonist. One putatively relevant source of these neurotransmitters is from the region of the deep mesencephalic nucleus (DpMe) just ventrolateral to the periaquiductal gray, termed the dorsal DpMe (dDpMe). Here, the amino acid neurotransmitter innervation of SLD from dDpMe was studied utilizing anterograde tract-tracing with biotinylated dextranamine (BDA) and fluorescence immunohistochemistry visualized with laser scanning confocal microscopy. Both markers for inhibitory and excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters were found in varicose axon fibers in SLD originating from dDpMe. Vesicular glutamate transporter2 (VGLUT2) represented the largest number of anterogradely labeled varicosities followed by vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT). Numerous VGAT and VGLUT2 labeled varicosities were observed apposed to dDpMe-labeled axon fibers indicating both excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic, local modulation within the SLD. Some double-labeled BDA/VGAT varicosities were seen apposed to small somata labeled for glutamate consistent with being presynaptic to the phenotype of REM sleep-active SLD neurons. Results found support the current theoretical framework of the interaction of dDpMe and SLD in control of REM sleep, while also indicating operation of mechanisms with a greater level of complexity.
Inhibitory glycine receptors (GlyRs) are composed of homologous α- (α1-4) and β-subunits. The β-subunits (GlyRβ) interact via their large cytosolic loops with the postsynaptic scaffolding protein gephyrin and are therefore considered essential for synaptic localization. In situ hybridization studies indicate a widespread distribution of GlyRβ transcripts throughout the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), whereas GlyRα mRNAs and proteins display more restricted expression patterns. Here we report the generation of a monoclonal antibody that specifically recognizes rodent GlyRβ (mAb-GlyRβ) and does not exhibit crossreactivity with any of the GlyRα1-4 subunits. Immunostaining with this antibody revealed high densities of punctate GlyRβ immunoreactivity at inhibitory synapses in mouse spinal cord, brainstem, midbrain, and olfactory bulb but not in the neocortex, cerebellum, or hippocampus. This contrasts the abundance of GlyRβ transcripts in all major regions of the rodent brain and suggests that GlyRβ protein levels are regulated posttranscriptionally. When mAb-GlyRβ was used in double-labeling experiments with GlyRα1-, α2-, α3-, or α4-specific antibodies to examine the colocalization of GlyRβ with these GlyR subunits in the mouse retina, >90% of the GlyRα1-3 clusters detected were found to be GlyRβ-immunoreactive. A subset (about 50%) of the GlyRα4 puncta in the inner plexiform layer, however, was found to lack GlyRβ and gephyrin immunostaining. These GlyRα4-only clusters were apposed to bassoon immunoreactivity and hence synaptically localized. Their existence points to a gephyrin-independent synaptic localization mechanism for a minor subset of GlyRs.
Certain GABAergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex, basket cells, establish multiple connections with cell bodies that typically outline the somata and proximal dendrites of pyramidal cells. During studies into the distribution of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) in the human cerebral cortex, we were struck by the presence of a very dense, pericellular arrangement of multiple VGAT-immunoreactive (-ir) terminals in certain cortical areas. We called these terminals "Complex basket formations" (Cbk-formations) to distinguish them from the simpler and more typical pericellular GABAergic innervations of most cortical neurons. Here we examined the distribution of these VGAT-ir Cbk-formations in various cortical areas, including the somatosensory (area 3b), visual (areas 17 and 18), motor (area 4), associative frontal (dorsolateral areas 9, 10, 45, 46, and orbital areas 11, 12, 13, 14, 47), associative temporal (areas 20, 21, 22, and 38), and limbic cingulate areas (areas 24, 32). Furthermore, we used dual or triple staining techniques to study the chemical nature of the innervated cells. We found that VGAT-ir Cbk-formations were most frequently found in area 4 followed by areas 3b, 13, and 18. In addition, they were mostly observed in layer III, except in area 17, where they were most dense in layer IV. We also found that 70% of the innervated neurons were pyramidal cells, while the remaining 30% were multipolar cells. Most of these multipolar cells expressed the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin and the lectin Vicia villosa agglutinin.
The neurons in the cortical white matter (WM neurons) originate from the first set of postmitotic neurons that migrates from the ventricular zone. In particular, they arise in the subplate that contains the earliest cells generated in the telencephalon, prior to the appearance of neurons in gray matter cortical layers. These cortical WM neurons are very numerous during development, when they are thought to participate in transient synaptic networks, although many of these cells later die, and relatively few cells survive as WM neurons in the adult. We used light and electron microscopy to analyze the distribution and density of WM neurons in various areas of the adult human cerebral cortex. Furthermore, we examined the perisomatic innervation of these neurons and estimated the density of synapses in the white matter. Finally, we examined the distribution and neurochemical nature of interneurons that putatively innervate the somata of WM neurons. From the data obtained, we can draw three main conclusions: first, the density of WM neurons varies depending on the cortical areas; second, calretinin-immunoreactive neurons represent the major subpopulation of GABAergic WM neurons; and, third, the somata of WM neurons are surrounded by both glutamatergic and GABAergic axon terminals, although only symmetric axosomatic synapses were found. By contrast, both symmetric and asymmetric axodendritic synapses were observed in the neuropil. We discuss the possible functional implications of these findings in terms of cortical circuits.
Several L1-related adhesion molecules, expressed in a well-coordinated temporospatial pattern during development, are important for fine tuning of specific cerebellar circuitries. We tested the hypothesis that CHL1, the close homologue of L1, abundantly expressed in the developing and adult cerebellum, is also required for normal cerebellar histogenesis. We found that constitutive ablation of CHL1 in mice caused significant loss (20-23%) of Purkinje and granule cells in the mature 2-month-old cerebellum. The ratio of stellate/basket interneurons to Purkinje cells was abnormally high (+38%) in CHL1-deficient (CHL1-/-) mice compared with wild-type (CHL1+/+) littermates, but the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic synaptic inputs to Purkinje cell bodies and dendrites were normal, as were numbers of Golgi interneurons, microglia, astrocytes, and Bergmann glia. Purkinje cell loss occurred before the first postnatal week and was associated with enhanced apoptosis, presumably as a consequence of CHL1 deficiency in afferent axons. In contrast, generation of granule cells, as indicated by in vivo analyses of cell proliferation and death, was unaffected in 1-week-old CHL1-/- mice, but numbers of migrating granule cells in the molecular layer were increased. This increase was likely related to retarded cell migration because CHL1-/- granule cells migrated more slowly than CHL1+/+ cells in vitro, and Bergmann glial processes guiding migration in vivo expressed CHL1 in wild-type mice. Granule cell deficiency in adult CHL1-/- mice appeared to result from decreased precursor cell proliferation after the first postnatal week. Our results indicate that CHL1 promotes Purkinje and granule cell survival and granule cell migration during cerebellar development.
Synaptosomal associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) is a SNARE component of the exocytotic apparatus involved in the release of neurotransmitter. We used multiple-labeling immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, and ultrastructural immunocytochemistry to examine the expression of SNAP-25 in excitatory and inhibitory terminals from different rat and human brain areas. Glutamatergic and GABAergic terminals were identified by staining for the vesicular glutamate transporter (vGLUT1), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67), or the vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT). In all examined areas GABAergic terminals did not display detectable levels of SNAP-25, whereas glutamatergic terminals expressed the protein to a variable extent. Codistribution analysis revealed a high colocalization between pixels detecting SNAP-25 labeling and pixels detecting vGLUT1 immunoreactivity. On the contrary, a low degree of pixel colocalization, comparable to that between two unrelated antigens, was detected between SNAP-25 and vGAT, thus suggesting a random overlap of immunofluorescence signals. Our immunofluorescence evidence was supported by ultrastructural data, which clearly confirmed that SNAP-25 was undetectable in GABAergic terminals identified by both their typical morphology and specific staining for GABA. Interestingly, our ultrastructural results confirmed that a subset of glutamatergic synapses do not contain detectable levels of SNAP-25. The present study extends our previous findings obtained in rodent hippocampus and provides evidence that SNAP-25 expression is highly variable between different axon terminals both in rat and human brain. The heterogeneous distribution of SNAP-25 may have important implications not only in relation to the function of the protein as a SNARE but also in the control of network excitability.