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Do you know an authoritative source for the approximate number of dopaminergc cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA)? Ideally I would like to know this for mice, rats, as well as humans, but one species alone would be a nice start. I have looked for this via google scholar and pubmed, but found nothing.

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Approximately, 250000-440000 neurons in Humans (Rice et al., 2016).

The substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA) complex is a heterogeneous collection of dopaminergic cell groups that extends from diencephalic to mesencephalic territories in many vertebrates, including rodents, non-human primates, and humans (Puelles and Verney 1998; see as reviews Smits et al. 2006; Smidt and Burbach 2007; Smits et al. 2013). The SN/VTA contains the largest number of dopaminergic neurons in the brain (see as reviews van Domburg and ten Donkelaar 1991; Haber and Fudge 1997; Nieuwenhuys et al. 2008), with average estimates ranging in most studies from approximately 250,000 – 440,000 dopaminergic neurons within the complex (Bogerts et al. 1983; Hirsch et al. 1988; van Domburg and ten Donkelaar 1991; Damier et al. 1999a; Kubis et al. 2000).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Any ideas about the other species? $\endgroup$
    – TheChymera
    Jun 15, 2019 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ @TheChymera no idea. I'm also relying on Google scholar and pubmed. I have no expertise in this field. $\endgroup$
    – WYSIWYG
    Jun 15, 2019 at 15:36
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Integrating the information from @WYSIWYG's excellent answer, it appears the dopaminergic neuron count lies at:

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