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Peptides. 1998;19(7):1213-25.

Innervation of the human middle meningeal artery: immunohistochemistry, ultrastructure, and role of endothelium for vasomotility.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Lund, Sweden.


The majority of nerve fibers in the middle meningeal artery and branching arterioles are sympathetic, storing norepinephrine and neuropeptide Y (NPY). A sparse supply of fibers contain acetylcholinesterase activity and immunoreactivity toward vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), peptidine histidine methionine (PHM), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Only few substance P and neuropeptide K immunoreactive fibers are noted. Electronmicroscopy shows axons and terminals at the adventitial medial border of the human middle meningeal artery, with a fairly large distance to the smooth muscle cells (>500 nM). Several axon profiles contain vesicles of different types, including putative sensory profiles. The perivascularly stored signal substances, norepinephrine and NPY induced vasoconstrictor. Relaxations were induced by acetylcholine and substance P, and these were significantly reduced in arteries without endothelium, while the responses to norepinephrine, NPY, VIP, PHM, and CGRP were not changed by endothelium removal. Blockade experiments showed that the vasomotor responses to norepinephrine were blocked by prazosin, to NPY by BIBP 3226, acetylcholine by atropin, substance P by RP 67580, and the human alpha-CGRP response by human alpha-CGRP(8-37).

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