Secretoneurin-like immunoreactivity in rat sympathetic, enteric and sensory ganglia

N. J. Dun, S. L. Dun, H. H. Lin, L. L. Hwang, A. Saria, R. Fischer-Colbrie

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Distribution of secretoneurin-like immunoreactivity (SN-LI) was studied in the rat sympathetic ganglia/adrenal gland, enteric and sensory ganglia by immunohistochemical methods. SN-LI nerve fibers formed basket-like terminals surrounding many of the postganglionic neurons of the superior cervical, stellate, paravertebral chain ganglia, coeliac/superior mesenteric and inferior mesenteric ganglia. Postganglionic neurons of the superior cervical and other sympathetic ganglia exhibited low-to-moderate levels of SN-LI. In all these sympathetic ganglia, clusters of small diameter (<10 μm) cells, which may correspond to the small intensely fluorescent (SIF) cells, were found to be intensely labeled. Surgical sectioning or ligation of the cervical sympathetic trunk for 7-10 days resulted in a nearly total loss of SN-LI fibers in the superior cervical ganglia, whereas immunoreactivity in the postganglionic neurons and small diameter cells remained essentially unchanged. In the thoracolumbar and sacral segments of the spinal cord, SN- LI nerve fibers were detected in the superficial layers of the dorsal horn as well as in the intermediolateral cell column (IL(ρ)). Occasionally, SN-LI somata were noted in the IL(ρ). SN-LI nerve fibers formed a delicate plexus underneath the capsule of the adrenal gland, some of which traversed the adrenal cortex and reached the adrenal medulla. While heavily invested with SN-LI nerve terminals, chromaffin cells seemed to express a low level of SN- LI. In the enteric plexus, varicose SN-LI nerve fibers and terminals formed a pericellular network around many myenteric and submucous ganglion cells; the ganglionic neurons were lightly to moderately labeled. A population of ganglion cells in the dorsal root, nodose and trigeminal ganglia exhibited moderate-to-strong SN-LI. The detection of SN-LI in nerve fibers and somata of various sympathetic ganglia, enteric plexus and adrenal medulla and in somata of the sensory ganglia implies an extensive involvement of this peptide in sympathetic, enteric and sensory signal processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Myenteric ganglion
  • Prevertebral ganglion
  • Stellate ganglion
  • Superior cervical ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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