PACAP in the adrenal gland - relationship with choline acetyltransferase, enkephalin and chromaffin cells and effects of immunological sympathectomy

Hans Holgert, Kristina Holmberg, Jan Hannibal, Jan Fahrenkrug, Steven Brimijoin, Boyd K Hartman, Tomas Hökfelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

USING indirect immunohistochemistry and immunological sympathectomy pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP)-like immunoreactivity (LI) was studied in the adult rat adrenal gland. All PACAP-positive fibres contained choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-LI and were found in high numbers among noradrenaline chromaffin cells, whereas enkephalin (ENK)/ChAT-immunoreactive (IR) fibres predominantly innervated adrenaline chromaffin cells. After immunological sympathectomy no PACAP-, ChAT- or ENK-IR fibres remained, strongly suggesting a preganglionic origin. A small number of PACAP-IR fibres was also observed in the subcapsular regions both in controls and in sympathectomized animals, presumably representing sensory fibres. These results define a subpopulation of PACAP-containing cholinergic preganglionic fibres in the adult rat adrenal medulla lacking ENK and innervating noradrenaline chromaffin cells. PACAP was also expressed in a few adrenaline chromaffin cells after immunological removal of the preganglionic innervation, suggesting an additional, hormonal role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-301
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroReport
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 1996

Keywords

  • Acetylcholine
  • Coexistence
  • Denervation
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neuropeptides

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