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J Auton Nerv Syst. 1982 Jul;6(1):95-106.

Transmission of impulses from pre- to postganglionic vasoconstrictor and sudomotor neurons.


Transmission of impulses of pre- to postganglionic neurons supplying skeletal muscle and skin of the cat's hindlimb and tail was investigated. The objective of the study was to determine whether these postganglionic neurons can be influenced from the preganglionic side by non-nicotinic synaptic mechanisms in the lumbar sympathetic chain ganglia. The activity of the postganglionic neurons was recorded from their axons being isolated from peripheral skin and muscle nerves. (1) Vasoconstrictor neurons can be activated by muscarinic action of released acetylcholine and by a non-cholinergic synaptic mechanism. This type of non-nicotinic excitation of postganglionic vasoconstrictor neurons requires the activation of thin, probably unmyelinated preganglionic axons and considerable summation. Postganglionic sudomotor and pilomotor neurons cannot be activated in this way. (2) Ongoing activity in postganglionic vasoconstrictor neurons, but not in sudomotor neurons, can be enhanced for up to 60 min by brief trains of stimuli applied to the preganglionic site. Also this enhancement requires the activation of thin preganglionic axons. (3) Stimulation of thin preganglionic axons leads to an activation of muscle vasoconstrictor neurons via non-nicotinic synaptic mechanisms in the ganglia after complete block of nicotine transmission. (4) Postganglionic vasoconstrictor neurons and sudomotor neurons may be inhibited by a catecholaminergic autogenic mechanism in the ganglia. (5) The results indicate that integration may take place in the sympathetic chain ganglia by other than divergent and convergent processes. In this integration muscarinic actions of released acetylcholine and non-cholinergic synaptic mechanisms may be involved.

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