Objective: A predominance of sensory neuropathy was earlier described in Sjögren's syndrome (SS), which might precede the presence of sicca symptoms. The mechanism of sensory neuropathy in SS is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the quantitative changes of the different neuropeptide containing nerve terminals and the immunocompetent cells in labial salivary glands of primary SS. Design: Immunohisto- and immunocytochemical methods were used for the detection of immunoreactive (IR) elements and the data were compared with the healthy controls. Results: All of the investigated IR nerve fibres were found in different quantity and localisation in both of control and SS glands. The density of them was changed variously in SS. The number of the substance P (SP), neuropeptide Y (NPY) (P<0.05), galanin (GAL) IR nerve terminals was decreased, however, the number of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and tyrosine β-hydroxylase (TH) IR nerve fibres (P<0.05) was increased compared to the control. There were no IR immunocompetent cells in the control materials, however, a large number of them showed IR for SP (46.2%) and NPY (34.4%) in the SS. The IR was demonstrated mainly in the mast cells, plasma cells and some of the lymphocytes. Conclusions: These neuropeptides might have a role in the sensory neuropathy; they might activate nociceptive and sympathetic pathways. Some neuropeptides (SP, NPY) are endogenous in the immunosystem and produced in certain conditions, e.g. inflammation and chronic autoimmune disorders such as SS, so they might participate in the neuroimmunomodulation and contribute to the atrophy, apoptosis and necrosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology