Localization of cholinergic nerves in lower airways of guinea pigs using antisera to choline acetyltransferase

Brendan J. Canning, Axel Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Primary antiserum to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), a specific marker for cholinergic nerves, was used to characterize the distribution of cholinergic nerve fibers and nerve cell bodies in guinea pig airways. ChAT immunoreactive nerve fibers were localized to the smooth muscle throughout the conducting airways and in the lamina propria of the trachea and large bronchi. Likewise, all nerve cell bodies in the ganglia intrinsic to the trachea and bronchi displayed a cholinergic phenotype. By contrast, ChAT immunoreactive nerve fibers were infrequently seen in the lamina propria of the peripheral airways and were absent in the airway epithelium. No evidence for colocalization of ChAT and the enzyme synthesizing the putative relaxant neurotransmitter nitric oxide was observed. These results provide further evidence for the key role played by cholinergic nerves in regulating airway smooth muscle tone and bronchial blood flow and provide further evidence that acetylcholine is not coreleased with the neurotransmitter(s) mediating relaxations of airway smooth muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L731-L738
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Volume272
Issue number4 16-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1997

Keywords

  • acetylcholine
  • airway smooth muscle
  • bronchial circulation
  • epithelium
  • ganglia
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • parasympathetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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