Indirect immunofluorescence methods using a mouse monoclonal antibody raised to rat choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) revealed dense networks of ChAT-immunoreactive fibers in the superior cervical ganglion, the stellate ganglion, and the celiac superior mesenteric ganglion of the rat. Numerous and single ChAT-immunoreactive cell bodies were observed in the stellate and superior cervical ganglia, respectively. The majority of ChAT-immunoreactive fibers in the stellate and superior cervical ganglia were nitric oxide synthase (NOS) positive. Some ChAT-immunoreactive fibers contained enkephalin-like immunoreactivity. Virtually all ChAT-positive cell bodies in the stellate ganglion were vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-positive, and some were calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-positive. After transection of the cervical sympathetic trunk almost all ChAT- and NOS- positive fibers and most enkephalin- and CGRP-positive fibers disappeared in the superior cervical ganglion. The results suggest that most preganglionic fibers are cholinergic and that the majority of these in addition can release nitric oxide, some enkephalin, and a few CGRP. Acetylcholine, VIP, and CGRP are coexisting messenger molecules in some postganglionic sympathetic neurons.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 5 1995|