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Cell Tissue Res. 1998 Mar;291(3):403-13.

Projections and actions of tachykininergic, cholinergic, and serotonergic neurones in the intestine of the atlantic cod.

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  • 1Department of Zoophysiology, Göteborg University, Medicinaregatan 18, S-41390 Göteborg, Sweden.


The native tachykinins cod neurokinin A and cod substance P, serotonin and acetylcholine have excitatory effects on the circular smooth muscle of the cod intestine. Furthermore, immunoreactivities to the cod tachykinins, serotonin and two markers for cholinergic neurones, viz. choline acetyltransferase and vesicular acetylcholine transporter, have been demonstrated in myenteric neurones of the cod intestine. In order to elucidate whether the neurones containing these substances project orally and thus might be involved in the ascending excitatory reflex of peristalsis, myotomy operations have been performed on the cod intestine. The immunoreactive areas of the myenteric plexus immediately oral and anal to the myotomy operations have been measured by using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Large accumulations of immunoreactivity to the tachykinins are found on the anal side of the myotomies, indicating oral projections of tachykininergic neurones. The areas immunoreactive to serotonin and choline acetyltransferase are of equal size on the oral and anal sides. Since the tachykinin containing neurones of the intestine project orally, and since cod neurokinin A and cod substance P have excitatory effects on circular smooth muscle, we conclude that tachykininergic neurones are involved in the ascending excitatory reflex of peristalsis in the cod intestine.

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