Peptide-containing nerve fibres in normal human parathyroid glands and in human parathyroid adenomas

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Abstract

There are only a few studies on the innervation of the human parathyroid glands and the content of neurotransmitters. We therefore studied the occurrence and distribution of peptide-containing and adrenergic nerve fibres and the coexistence pattern of neuromessengers by immunocytochemistry in normal (unaffected) and adenomatous parathyroid glands from patients undergoing surgery for parathyroid adenoma. The unaffected parathyroid glands had a moderate-to-rich supply of nerve fibres and terminals containing two general neuronal markers, protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) and synaptophysin, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). They were seen close to blood vessels and, occasionally, among the endocrine cells. Only a few nerves contained calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), substance P (SP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP). The general density of innervation, using PGP 9.5 and synaptophysin as markers, varied greatly among the different adenomas examined. This applied also to the density of fibres and terminals containing specific types of messengers. Some of the tumours had a rich supply of TH- and NPY-containing nerve fibres, while others contained only few scattered fibres. The CGRP-containing fibres varied from moderate in number to no detectable fibres. The PACAP-, SP- and VIP-containing fibres were always very few or not detectable. It is not inconceivable that the wide variation in general density of the innervation and frequency of peptide-containing nerves among individual parathyroid adenomas is of significance for their hormone secretory behaviour.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Genetics

Keywords

  • Adenoma, Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Middle Aged, Nerve Fibers, Neuropeptides, Parathyroid Glands, Parathyroid Neoplasms, Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide, Substance P, Synaptophysin, Thiolester Hydrolases, Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase, Ubiquitin Thiolesterase, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-51
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Volume133
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Nov
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes