Identification of motor neurons to the circular muscle of the guinea pig gastric corpus

S. J.H. Brookes, G. Hennig, M. Schemann

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    The projections of enteric neurons to the circular muscle of the guinea pig gastric corpus were investigated systematically by using the retrogradely transported fluorescent carbocyanine dye, 1,1'-didodecyl-3,3,3',3'- tetramethyl indocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI), applied to the muscle layer or myenteric plexus in vitro. DiI-labeled motor neuron cell bodies were located up to 6.3 mm aboral, 17 mm oral, and up to 20 mm circumferential to the DiI application site. Labeled nerve fibers ran for long distances from the DiI application site toward the greater and lesser curvatures, where they coursed parallel to the bundles of the 'gastric sling' muscle. The majority of labeled cells were located toward the lesser curvature of the stomach. Nerve cell bodies that were aboral to the DiI application site were usually small, immunoreactive for choline acetyltransferase, and, thus, were likely to be excitatory motor neurons. Neurons that were located orally were larger, fewer in number, and immunoreactive for nitric oxide synthase and, thus, were likely to be inhibitory motor neurons. Application of DiI directly to the myenteric plexus filled neurons up to 15 mm aborally and up to 21 mm orally but labeled few neurons circumferentially. All nerve cells that were filled from either the circular muscle or the myenteric plexus had Dogiel type I morphological features. These results demonstrate a clear polarity of projection of inhibitory and excitatory motor neurons and a functionally continuous innervation of the circular and gastric sling muscle layers. Nonmotor neurons in the myenteric plexus were demonstrated, but neurons with Dogiel type II morphological features are apparently absent.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)268-280
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 1998


    • Enteric nervous system
    • Interneurons
    • Myenteric plexus
    • Stomach
    • Transmitters


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