Using a monoclonal antibody against rat brain choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) the cholinergic innervation of the adult rat adrenal gland was visualized. Almost all ChAT-positive fibres contained nitric oxide synthase (NOS), whereas enkephalin (ENK) was exclusively found in ChAT fibres among adrenaline chromaffin cells. The ChAT/NOS/ENK fibres disappeared after immunological sympathectomy, indicating a preganglionic origin. ChAT was not found in the superficial peptide- and NOS containing fibre plexus in the adrenal cortex or in small or large intra-adrenal ganglion neurones under control conditions. Even after colchicine treatment only one single ChAT-positive small ganglion neurone was found. It is possible, therefore that some small intra-adrenal ganglion neurones, which express NOS- and VIP-like immunoreactivities, are noncholi-nergic, nonadrenergic neurones.
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- Choline acetyltransferase
- Ganglion neurone
- Immunological sympathectomy