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Cell Tissue Res. 1990 May;260(2):261-72.

Calbindin neurons of the guinea-pig small intestine: quantitative analysis of their numbers and projections.

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Centre for Neuroscience, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia.


The distribution of nerve cells with immunoreactivity for the calcium-binding protein, calbindin, has been studied in the small intestine of the guinea-pig, and the projections of these neurons have been analysed by tracing their processes and by examining the consequences of nerve lesions. The immunoreactive neurons were numerous in the myenteric ganglia; there were 3500 +/- 100 reactive nerve cells per cm2 of undistended intestine, which is 30% of all nerve cells. In contrast, reactive nerve cells were extremely rare in submucous ganglia. The myenteric nerve cells were oval in outline and gave rise to several long processes; this morphology corresponds to Dogiel's type-II classification. Processes from the cell bodies were traced through the circular muscle in perforating nerve fibre bundles. Other processes ran circumferentially in the myenteric plexus. Removal of the myenteric plexus, allowing time for subsequent fibre degeneration, showed that reactive nerve fibres in the submucous ganglia and mucosa came from the myenteric cell bodies. Operations to sever longitudinal or circumferential pathways in the myenteric plexus indicated that most reactive nerve terminals in myenteric ganglia arise from myenteric cell bodies whose processes run circumferentially for 1.5 mm, on average. It is deduced that the calbindin-reactive neurons are multipolar sensory neurons, with the sensitive processes in the mucosa and with other processes innervating neurons of the myenteric plexus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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