Antisera to neuropeptide Y (NPY) gave an intense immunohistochemical reaction of certain nerve cells in the myenteric and submucous plexuses of the guinea-pig small intestine. Each nerve cell had up to 20 branching, tapering processes that were less than ∼50 μm long and a long process that could be followed for a considerable distance. This morphology corresponds to that of the type-III cells of Dogiel. The long process of each myenteric cell ran through the circular muscle to the submucosa, and in most cases the process could be traced to the mucosa. The submucous nerve cell bodies also had processes that extended to the mucosa. These cell bodies, in both plexuses, also stained with antisera raised against calcitonin generelated peptide (CGRP), cholecystokinin (CCK), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and somatostatin (SOM), but did not stain with antibodies against enkephalin, substance P or vasoactive intestinal peptide. Thus, it has been possible for the first time to trace the processes of chemically specified neurons through the layers of the intestinal wall and to show by a direct method that CGRP/CCK/ChAT/NPY/ SOM myenteric and submucous nerves cells provide terminals in the mucosa.
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Choline acetyltransferase
- Enteric nervous system
- Intestine, small
- Neuropeptide Y