Peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) immunocytochemistry at the electron microscopic level was used to describe the fine structural characteristics of vascular connections between vasopressin (VP)-immunoreactive neuronal elements and cerebral microvessels in the rat. In the majority of connections, somata or neural processes (mainly dendrites) showing VP-like immunoreactivity were separated from the vessel wall by thin glial processes. In addition, some VP-positive elements could establish direct contacts with the basal lamina of the endothelium or of a pericyte associated with the capillary bed. The findings provide immunocytochemical evidence that the vasopressinergic neuronal elements can directly innervate microvessels in the brain and thereby participate in regulating the local permeability of and the flow through the cerebral microvessels.
- brain microvessels
- vasopressin-like immunoreactivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas