The source of enkephalin in neuronal terminals of the rat globus pallidus was evaluated with electrolytic and knife cut lesions. Straight knife cuts medial to the globus pallidus or a curved knife cut just below the corpus callosum do not reduce immunofluorescence staining in the globus pallidus, indicating that cerebral cortex is not a major source of pallidal enkephalin. Electrolytic lesions of dorsal and ventral portions of the globus pallidus, and even lesions which sever medial from lateral globus, fail to reduce pallidal staining, ruling out long enkephalin neurons traversing the globus. Large electrolytic lesions of the head of the caudate do decrease dorsal pallidal fluorescence, though multiple small caudate lesions are without observable effect. Large pallidal lesions elicit a build-up of enkephalin fluorescence in the caudate. These results suggest that the caudate is the sole source of pallidal enkephalin and that the innervation diffusely converges on the smaller globus pallidus.
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