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Immunohistochemical demonstration of calbindin-containing nerve endings in the rat esophagus

, : Immunohistochemical demonstration of calbindin-containing nerve endings in the rat esophagus. Cell and Tissue Research 278(1): 57-64

Immunoreactivity for calbindin was found in nerve endings with irregular laminar shapes in the rat esophagus. In the myenteric ganglia, laminar endings of a range of sizes formed a complex network and appeared to lie at the surface of the ganglion. The myenteric ganglia that contained nerve endings were most abundant in the upper portion of the esophagus, their number decreasing orally to anally. Calbindin-immunoreactive nerve cell bodies were scattered throughout the esophagus. Laminar terminals were found in the connective tissue of the lamina propria immediately beneath the epithelium and in the muscularis mucosae. Occasional nerve branches formed a network of arborizing endings that surrounded part of the submucosal arterioles. Immunoreactive nerve endings in the mucosa and submucosa were present only in the upper part of the cervical esophagus. Unilateral vagotomy caused a remarkable decrease in the number of the myenteric ganglia containing the calbindin-immunoreactive laminar endings after 15 days or survival; in some of ganglia, the laminar structures disappeared and nerve endings showing weak immunoreactivity had an indistinct appearance, so that the outline of the ganglia became obscure. In operated rats at 24 days, the number of innervated ganglia was about half that in normal rats. However, there was no change in the morphology and the occurrence of the immunoreactive laminar structures in the mucosa and submucosa after denervation. The results show that many of the laminar endings that are immunoreactive for calbindin in the myenteric ganglia are derived from the vagus nerve. Thus, the calbindin-immunoreactive nerve endings with laminar expansions that are found in the rat esophageal wall could be sensory receptors.


PMID: 7954704

DOI: 10.1007/bf00305778

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