Earlier light microscopic data on afferent connections to the cholinergic forebrain neurons are reconsidered in the light of EM cross-identification of neurons and synapses by combinations of tracer and immunocytochemical techniques. Such studies suggest that brainstem monoaminergic afferents terminate on cholinergic forebrain neurons, and may modulate the activity of choline acetyltransferase levels in the postsynaptic neurons. A monosynaptic relationship between cholinergic forebrain neurons and neuropeptide Y and somatostatin containing axons is also supported by studies using double immunolabeling techniques at the EM level. These peptidergic afferents originate in part from locally arborizing neurons. Based upon the new data a circuit model for basal forebrain cholinergic neurons is proposed.
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