Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and acetylcholine coexist with neuropeptide Y, dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase, substance P or calcitonin gene-related peptide in neuronal subpopulations in cranial parasympathetic ganglia of rat

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Immunohistochemistry has been used to demonstrate that neuropeptide Y, dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, calcitonin gene-related peptide or substance P are colocalized with vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and choline acetyltransferase in subpopulations of neurons in cranial parasympathetic ganglia of rat. These comprise the ciliary, sphenopalatine, otic, glossopharyngeal-vagal and internal carotid ganglia. In the ciliary and glossopharyngeal-vagal ganglia tyrosine hydroxylase is also found in such neurons. The findings emphasize that the combined localization of dopamine-beta-hydroxylase and neuropeptide Y or the presence of tyrosine hydroxylase is not exclusively a marker for peripheral adrenergic neurons. Further, the co-localization of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P is not a decisive indication that a neuron is sensory in nature. It is discussed whether the presence of the enzymes and peptides other than vasoactive intestinal polypeptide is a remnant of a different expression during ontogenesis or indicates target-specific functions in the adult.


  • J E Hardebo
  • N Suzuki
  • E Ekblad
  • Christer Owman
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-300
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Publication categoryResearch