Cyto- and chemoarchitecture of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

Chuang Kuo Wu, Louis B. Hersh, Changiz Geula

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19 Scopus citations


The cyto- and chemoarchitecture of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCN) was investigated in the lower primate, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). A large population of magnocellular, hyperchromic, and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive neurons was detected in the marmoset basal forebrain. The distribution of these neurons was similar to those in higher primates. Thus, ChAT-positive neurons were observed in the medial septum (Ch2), the vertical (Ch2) and horizontal (Ch3) limbs of the diagonal band of Broca, and the nucleus basalis of Meynert (Ch4). The Ch4 complex was relatively well differentiated and displayed distinct sectors. We detected anterior (Ch4a, with a medial and a lateral subdivision), intermediate (Ch4i, with a dorsal and a ventral subdivision), and posterior (Ch4p) sectors in the marmoset Ch4. The Ch4i was relatively small while the Ch4p was large. Similar to the rodent, the marmoset Ch1 extended quite a distance posteriorly, and the Ch4p displayed a major interstitial component distributed within the globus pallidus, its medullary laminae, and the internal capsule. Virtually all of the marmoset BFCN displayed acetylcholinesterase activity, and low affinity (p75(NTR)) and high affinity (Trk) neurotrophin receptor immunoreactivity. A majority contained immunoreactivity for calbindin-D(28K) and calretinin. Many of the Ch4 neurons also displayed tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity. The BFCN lacked galanin immunoreactivity, but were innervated by galanin-positive fibers. None of the marmoset BFCN were NADPH-d-positive. Thus, the BFCN display major anatomical and biochemical differences in the marmoset when compared with higher primates. The marmoset BFCN also display many characteristics common to other primates. This fact, combined with the relatively short life span of the marmoset, indicates that this species may be ideal for studies of age-related changes in the BFCN. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-326
Number of pages21
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Daniel Kuznetsov and Daniel Saroff for expert technical assistance, Mark A. Bothwell for providing the p75NTR antibody, and Douglas Rosene for helpful suggestions. This work was supported by NIA Grant AG14706.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Calbindin
  • Choline acetyltransferase
  • Comparative anatomy
  • Galanin
  • NADPH-d
  • Nerve growth factor receptor
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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