High-Resolution Light and Electron Microscopic Immunocytochemistry of Colocalized GABA and Calbindin D-28k in Somata and Double Bouquet Cell Axons of Monkey Somatosensory Cortex


Dr E. G. Jones, as above


A simple method for high-resolution immunocytochemical colocalization of different antigens in semithin sections 1 - 3 μm thick was used to study the colocalization of the calcium binding protein calbindin D-28k (calbindin) with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in double bouquet cells of monkey (Macaca fuscata) somatosensory cortex. Double bouquet cells were first visualized in vibratome sections by pre-embedding immunocytochemical staining for calbindin. Sections containing calbindin-immunoreactive somata and double bouquet cell axons were then osmicated, embedded in Araldite, resectioned at 1–3μm and stained for GABA by postembedding immunocytochemistry after elution of the bound anti-calbindin antibodies. Other semithin sections adjacent to those eluted and still containing calbindin immunoreactive somata and processes were resectioned at 60–70 nm for electron microscopy and stained immunocytochemically for GABA by the postembedding immunogold procedure. Calbindin-positive cells are most numerous in layer II and upper layer III, where they outnumber those in all other layers combined. In layers II and upper III, -30% of the stained cells are pyramidal and do not colocalize GABA. Only approximately two-thirds of the calbindin-stained nonpyramidal cells in these layers colocalize GABA, but among these virtually all the calbindin-positive double bouquet cells and their axons are GABA-immunoreactive. In deeper layers all calbindin-positive cells are nonpyramidal and all colocalize GABA. At the electron microscopic level, however, significant numbers of calbindin-positive axon terminals making symmetrical synapses are not GABA-immunoreactive. These results suggest the calbindin cells of monkey somatosensory cortex are a heterogeneous population that includes GABAergic and non-GABAergic cell types.