NAAG is strongly expressed in several neuronal groups known to utilize specific neurotransmitters. Examples include the vertical limb of the diagonal band of Broca, which is known to use acetylcholine as the primary neurotransmitter (Figure 9A). The locus coeruleus is a noradrenergic nucleus in the brainstem which is strongly immunoreactive for NAAG (Figure 9B), and the substantia niagra pars compacta is a major dopaminergic nucleus in the midbrain which expresses high levels of NAAG-IR (Figure 9C). NAAG is also present in serotoninergic neurons of the raphe (Figure 9D).
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