INTRODUCTION: A large number of nerve fibres containing different neuropeptides/transmitters are also found in the salivary glands. The number and the distribution of nerve fibres is altered in many diseases, including in Sjögren's syndrome. AIM: Therefore in the present study the distribution and precise localisation of the nerve fibres containing the frequently observed neuropeptides were studied in the minor salivary glands. METHODS: Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, neuropeptide Y, substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide, somatostatin, nitric oxide synthase and tyrosine beta-hydroxylase antibodies were used as primary antisera, and then by the aid of avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method the immunoreactive fibers in human labial glands (control and with Sjögren's syndrome) and in minor glands of the root of the rat's tongue were detected. RESULTS: Large number of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and nitric oxide synthase immunoreactive nerve fibres were seen around the acini. The neuropeptide Y and tyrosine beta-hydroxylase positive nerve fibres were mainly found around the blood vessels. Some of the IR fibers were also found around the excretory ducts. In the biopsy of patients with Sjögren's syndrome, the acini were destroyed and only few excretory ducts were seen. The number of the nerve fibres was significantly decreased and many degenerated fibres were also observed among the acini. The electron-microscopic examinations showed that the immunoreactive nerve fibres were in close association to the secretory cells, to the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and to the immunocells. The synaptic gap between the nerve fibres and the target cells were 40-200 nm. CONCLUSIONS: On the bases of the distribution of the different transmitters containing nerve fibres and their relationship to effector cells, the authors suppose that these transmitters control the function of the gland and regulate the blood flow. The close association to immunocells and decreasing the nerve fibres in Sjögren's syndrome imply that they may have also a role in the neuroimmunologic processes.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - jún. 30 2002|
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