Adenosine receptors were made visible on light microscopy by autoradiography with tritiated cyclohexyladenosine. In the cerebellum, adenosine receptors were absent in Weaver mice, which lack granule cells, and were displaced in Reeler mice, which have displacements of granule cells. Thus, adenosine receptors appear to be located on the axon terminals of excitatory granule cells in the cerebellum. Removal of one eye of a rat depleted adenosine receptors in the contralateral superior colliculus, suggesting that the receptors occur on axon terminals of excitatory projections from retinal ganglion cells. The presence of adenosine receptors on excitatory axon terminals may explain synaptic inhibition by adenosine and the behavioral effects of xanthines.
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