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The patches in primary visual cortex constitute hot spots of metabolic activity, manifested by enhanced levels of cytochrome oxidase (CO) activity. They are also labeled preferentially by immunostaining for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and parvalbumin. However, calbindin shows stronger immunoreactivity outside patches. In light of this discrepancy, the distribution of the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) was examined in striate cortex of two normal macaques. VGAT immunoreactivity was strongest in layers 4B, 4Cα, and 5. In tangential sections, the distribution of CO, GAD, and VGAT was compared in layer 2/3. There was a close match between all three labels. This finding indicates that GABA synthesis is enriched in patches, and that inhibitory synapses are more active in patches than interpatches.


Daniel L Adams, John R Economides, Jonathan C Horton. Co-localization of glutamic acid decarboxylase and vesicular GABA transporter in cytochrome oxidase patches of macaque striate cortex. Visual neuroscience. 2015;32:E026

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PMID: 26579566

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