The projections of Dogiel type II myenteric neurons to the mucosa of the guinea-pig ileum were quantified by combining retrograde transport of DiI, in vitro, with immunohistochemistry. After DiI application to the mucosa over an area of 1.5 × 10 mm2, virtually all (>97%) calbindin-immunoreactive Dogiel type II neurons in the myenteric plexus underneath the mucosal DiI application site were labelled, indicating that essentially all of these neurons project to the mucosa. From cell counts, on average 5 calbindin-immunoreactive neurons project to each villus, and each calbindin-immunoreactive neuron supplies on average 10 villi. Since Dogiel type II neurons that were not immunoreactive for calbindin (19% of all labelled nerve cells) also projected to the mucosa, it is likely that all Dogiel type II neurons, which are putative sensory neurons of the gut, project to the mucosa.
- Myenteric plexus
- Retrograde transport