Intracellular labelling with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) combined with γ-aminobutyric (GABA) immunocytochemistry was used to assess the GABAergic input to inspiratory bulbospinal neurons of the dorsal respiratory group in the cat. The relationship between GABA-immunoreactive (GABA-IR) boutons and intracellularly labelled neurons was examined at the light microscopic and ultrastructural levels. At the light microscopic level, GABA-IR boutons were frequently found in close apposition to dendrites and cell bodies of labelled neurons. The presence of synapses was confirmed with electron microscopy. In addition, synaptic specializations were observed between immunoreactive boutons and unlabelled terminals which in turn formed synaptic contacts with HRP-labelled dendrites, a finding consistent with presynaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a direct GABAergic input to a functionally defined population of medullary respiratory neurons, and suggest involvement of this neurotransmitter in the control of this neurotransmitter in the control of these neurons.
- Electron microscopy
- Horseradish peroxidase
- Intracellular recording
- Nucleus of the solitary tract
- γ-Aminobutyric acid