Origins of Peptide and Norepinephrine Nerves in the Mucosa of the Guinea Pig Small Intestine

J. R. Keast, J. B. Furness, M. Costa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    117 Citations (Scopus)


    Norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and certain peptides are contained in mucosal nerves and have potent effects on transepithelial water and electrolyte fluxes. It is difficult to ascribe roles for these nerves as their sources are unknown. The present studies were undertaken to determine the origins of nerve fibers that are found in the mucosa of the guinea pig small intestine and which contain one of the following substances: vasoactive intestinal peptide, substance P, somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, cholecystokinin, or norepinephrine. Nerve fiber origins were ascertained by making lesions to sever pathways through which the nerves could reach the mucosa. The lesioning operations were homotopic autotransplants of short (2 cm) segments of intestine; myectomies, in which a 5–10-mm length of intestine was stripped of longitudinal muscle and myenteric plexus; and extrinsic denervation, in which nerves reaching the intestine through the mesentery were severed. The results of these studies, considered along with previously published work, led to the upcoming conclusions. Nerve fibers in the mucosa showing immunoreactivity for vasoactive intestinal peptide, somatostatin, cholecystokinin, and neuropeptide Y arise from cell bodies in the overlying submucous plexus. Substance P fibers arise in part from the overlying submucous plexus and in part from the overlying myenteric plexus. Mucosal norepinephrine fibers arise from extrinsic sympathetic ganglia. Enkephalin, gastrin-releasing peptide, and 5-hydroxytryptamine, which are in some enteric nerves, are not found in submucous nerve cells and few, if any, fibers containing these substances supply the mucosa. Thus, the mucosa receives a dense nerve supply, much of which arises locally from submucous ganglia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)637-644
    Number of pages8
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1984


    • CCK-OP
    • cholecystokininoctapeptide
    • DBH
    • dopamine β-hydroxylase
    • gastrin-releasing peptide
    • GRP
    • neuropeptide Y
    • NPY
    • PBS
    • phosphate-buffered saline


    Dive into the research topics of 'Origins of Peptide and Norepinephrine Nerves in the Mucosa of the Guinea Pig Small Intestine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this