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J Chem Neuroanat. 1993 Nov-Dec;6(6):343-50.

Calcitonin gene-related peptide-like immunoreactivity in spinal cord and superior cervical ganglion of the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus).

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Department of Anatomy, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.


The indirect immunofluorescent method was employed to investigate the distribution of calcitonin gene-related peptide-like immunoreactivity (CGRP-LI) in the spinal cord and superior cervical ganglion of the Djungarian hamster Phodopus sungorus. In cross-sections of the spinal cord, immunoreactive fibres and terminals were found in laminae 1 and 2 in high density, in the dorsolateral (Lissauer's) tract, in ventral and lateral horns, and in the area surrounding the central canal. A few CGRP-LI perikarya were seen in the ventral but not the dorsal horn. CGRP-LI was further observed in preganglionic sympathetic neurons which were labelled by retrograde axonal transport of fluoro-gold (FG) following injection of the substance unilaterally into the superior cervical ganglion. Preganglionic sympathetic neurons (PSN) were localized ipsilateral to the injection site mainly in the intermediolateral nucleus and the lateral funiculus of the upper thoracic segments. Most PSN exhibited CGRP-LI. Immunoreactive PSN were not seen contralaterally to the site of FG application nor in animals that did not receive injections. When the preganglionic fibres were ligated 4 days before perfusion, CGRP-LI cell bodies were found in preganglionic sympathetic neurons similar to the situation seen upon FG treatment. In the superior cervical ganglia of untreated hamsters, immunoreactive fibres were seen to enter the ganglion in which they terminated at non-immunoreactive principal ganglion cells. The present study, the first in a hamster species, describes the widespread distribution of CGRP in the spinal cord of P. sungorus and supports the view that considerable interspecies differences exist in occurrence and location of this neuropeptide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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