Similarities in cellular morphology, afferentation, efferentation, and neurotransmitter content between the internal and external parts of the pallidum and the substantia nigra pars reticulata have long been noted. Here we present evidence that the globus pallidus, entopeduncular nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata are more closely related to each other antigenically than to any other anatomical subdivision in the murine central nervous system. In a monoclonal antibody library composed of 20 distinctive lines selected from 300 hybridomas screened immunohistochemically on mouse brain sagittal sections we found two antibodies whose staining patterns distinguish the pallidum and substantia nigra pars reticulata from all other brain gray matter regions but stain these two divisions similarly. One monoclonal antibody, F1-134, stains all brain gray matter regions moderately but gives intense staining of the globus pallidus, entopeduncular nucleus, and substantia nigra pars reticulata only. Another monoclonal antibody, F1-20, stains different brain gray matter regions to varying degrees but shows a complete and exclusive exclusion of staining from the globus pallidus, entopeduncular nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata. These results support the tripartite pallidum hypothesis. This study also provides an example of how the monoclonal antibody library strategy can be applied to general problems of brain organization.
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