Lingual components of the autonomic nervous system are considered to be the most rostral portion of the enteric nervous system. Therefore our aim was to study the intrinsic nerve cell bodies and synapses using immunohisto-, immunocytochemical methods. Several small groups of ganglia with cell bodies immunoreactive (IR) for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and substance P (SP) were observed just below the gustatory epithelium. A few somatostatin and galanin IR nerve cell bodies were also found. Many IR cell bodies were also demonstrated in the glands and next to blood vessels. Some of these cell bodies were multipolar and some of them were small neurons with an ovoid shape having only one process. Cell bodies positive for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were detected neither in the superficial nor in the deep portion. Electronmicroscopical analysis demonstrated different IR nerve fibres having axo-somatic and axo-dendritic synapses with other immunonegative cells. In a few cases VIP IR nerve processes were found to synaptize with other VIP positive nerve cell bodies. These results support the existance of intralingual reflex in the tongue, where the ganglia might have an integrative role of the different neuropeptide containing nerve fibres.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)