Patterns of innervation of sympathetic vascular neurons by peptide- containing primary sensory fibers

Z. L. Zheng, R. A. Travagli, D. L. Kreulen

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a specific organization of the primary sensory innervation on to identified vascular neurons in the inferior mesenteric ganglion (IMG) in guinea-pig. Retrograde tracers were placed intraluminally in inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) or inferior mesenteric vein (IMV) in vitro to identify ganglionic neurons as arterial, venous or unlabeled neurons. The distribution of primary sensory nerve fibers containing calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and substance P immunoreactivity (SP-IR) was compared before and after treatment with capsaicin. In control animals the density of immunoreactivity varied both with the transmitter and the type of neuron innervated. The density of immunoreactivity for all the three substances was reduced by capsaicin treatment. The degree of reduction of immunoreactivity in the fibers varied with the transmitter and the type of neuron. The density of CGRP and SP immunoreactive fibers was greatest around unlabeled neurons; 78% of the CGRP fibers were of primary sensory origin and all of the SP fibers were primary sensory. Around arterial neurons 44% of the CGRP fibers were of primary sensory origin and around venous 68% were primary sensory. NOS positive innervation around venous neurons was denser than around arterial neurons and all of it was completely (97%) eliminated by capsaicin, indicating that it was solely of primary sensory origin. We conclude that the primary sensory fibers innervating the IMG are differentially distributed to arterial and venous neurons and that the pattern of distribution is characteristic for each sensory neurotransmitter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 8 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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