Comment; The Striatum is a cluster of nerve cells below the forebrain involved in motor & reward systems, receiving glutamergic & dopaminergic inputs from different sources. Functionally it coordinates multiple aspects of cognition/thinking including motor & action planning, decision making, motivation, reinforcement & reward perception. This study uses molecular techniques demonstrating the opioid receptors that trigger euphoria (mu receptors) projection to other parts of the brain.

The striatum, or corpus striatum[5] (also called the neostriatum and the striate nucleus) is a nucleus (a cluster of neurons) in the subcortical basal ganglia of the forebrain. The striatum is a critical component of the motor and reward systems; receives glutamatergic and dopaminergic inputs from different sources; and serves as the primary input to the rest of the basal ganglia.

Functionally, the striatum coordinates multiple aspects of cognition, including both motor and action planningdecision-makingmotivationreinforcement, and reward perception

Open AccessDOI:


  • •Genetic labeling of Oprm1+ cells in striatum visualizes patches
  • •Single-nucleus RNA-seq defines identity of neuron subtypes in striatum
  • •The striatum is subdivided based on a spatiomolecular code


The striatum is organized into two major outputs formed by striatal projection neuron (SPN) subtypes with distinct molecular identities. In addition, histochemical division into patch and matrix compartments represents an additional spatial organization, proposed to mirror a motor-motivation regionalization. To map the molecular diversity of patch versus matrix SPNs, we genetically labeled mu opioid receptor (Oprm1) expressing neurons and performed single-nucleus RNA sequencing. This allowed us to establish molecular definitions of patch, matrix, and exopatch SPNs, as well as identification of Col11a1+ striatonigral SPNs. At the tissue level, mapping the expression of candidate markers reveals organization of spatial domains, which are conserved in the non-human primate brain. The spatial markers are cell-type independent and instead represent a spatial code found across all SPNs within a spatial domain. The spatiomolecular map establishes a formal system for targeting and studying striatal subregions and SPNs subtypes, beyond the classical striatonigral and striatopallidal division.

Graphical Abstract

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Dr. Raymond Oenbrink