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      The Distribution of Cholinergic Neurons in the Central Nervous System of Turtles

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          Abstract

          The distribution of cholinergic neurons was studied in painted and red-eared turtles using antisera against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). The results showed that the organization of cholinergic systems in the central nervous system of turtles was remarkably similar to that previously described in diverse other species. For example, the present studies revealed the presence of cholinergic neurons in the striatum, the basal telencephalon, the isthmo-tectal system, and a region of cells near the cerebellar peduncle. The motoneurons of the III, IV, V, VI, VII, X and XII cranial nerves and the spinal ventral horn were also shown to be cholinergic. Additional cholinergic neurons were observed in the hypothalamus and rhombencephalic reticular formation. These results help to clarify the precise extent and location of the major cholinergic cell groups of the turtle brain, thereby adding to our understanding of the organization of the turtle nervous system. The results also reveal that the cholinergic systems of the striatum, basal forebrain, isthmic region, and cerebellar peduncular region are ancestral features of the amniote brain and are common to all living amniotes that have been studied. Thus, the organization and, presumably, the function of the cholinergic systems appear to be conservative.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          BBE
          Brain Behav Evol
          10.1159/issn.0006-8977
          Brain, Behavior and Evolution
          S. Karger AG
          0006-8977
          1421-9743
          1993
          1993
          17 January 2008
          : 41
          : 6
          : 326-345
          Affiliations
          a Department of Psychology, St. John's University, Jamaica, NY; b Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Tennessee-Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
          Article
          113853 Brain Behav Evol 1993;41:326–345
          10.1159/000113853
          8324620
          © 1993 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 20
          Categories
          Original Paper

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