Antisera raised against neuron specific enolase (NSE), substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) were used to reveal nerve fibres in the wall of the canine small and large intestine. The circular muscle of the colon was innervated by nerve fibre bundles that ran parallel to the muscle throughout its thickness. A plexus of fibre bundles was found against the inner (submucosal) surface of the circular muscle. Fibres with substance P, VIP and TH immunoreactivity all contributed to this innervation. The circular muscle of the small intestine was distinctly separated into outer and inner layers by a dense plexus of nerve fibres, the deep muscular plexus. The outer and inner circular muscle were innervated by substance P, VIP and TH fibres. Extrinsic denervation through the severing of nerve fibres in the mesentery caused TH fibres in the intestine to degenerate, but had no detectable effect on the fibres with substance P or VIP immunoreactivity. Myectomy (the removal of the myenteric plexus from the full circumference of the intestine over a distance of 2-3 cm), performed 7-13 days before tissue was taken, resulted in an almost complete loss of substance P fibres from the circular muscle of the colon and the outer circular muscle of the small intestine. However, many fibres persisted in the deep muscular plexus of the small intestine, and most fibres remained in its inner circular muscle. The changes in distribution of VIP fibres were almost identical, except that a small proportion of reactive fibres remained in the circular muscle of the colon and the outer circular muscle of the small intestine. It is concluded that the circular muscle layers of the small intestine and colon have dual sources of intrinsic nerve supply: the myenteric ganglia supply fibres primarily to the outer part of the muscle and the submucous ganglia supply fibres to the inner muscle. The present study further demonstrated that VIP fibres ran anally in the myenteric plexus of both the small and large intestine, whereas substance P fibres ran orally in the large intestine and both orally and anally in the small intestine. The innervation of the muscularis mucosae and mucosa by substance P and VIP fibres was not affected by myectomy or extrinsic denervation, and these structures are therefore likely to be innervated by nerve cells in the submucous ganglia.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Archives of Histology and Cytology|
|State||Published - 1990|
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