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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity in cutaneous sympathetic and sensory neurons during development of the guinea pig.

Different levels of the cutaneous vasculature are innervated selectively by subpopulations of sympathetic neurons distinguished by the presence or absence of immunoreactivity (-IR) for neuropeptide Y ( NPY). This study used multiple-labelling immunohistochemistry to examine the appearance of NPY-IR in neurons innervating cutaneous vessels in the ear pinna of embryonic, fetal, and neonatal guinea pigs. NPY-immunoreactive axons were detected in the ear bud at embryonic day 25. However, these axons lacked IR for tyrosine hydroxylase ( TH) and often ran in bundles with substance P (SP)-immunoreactive axons close to the epidermis. Many neuronal somata in the cervical dorsal root ganglia (DRG) at late embryonic stages contained NPY-IR with or without SP-IR, but no NPY-IR was detected in DRG or subepidermal axons by late fetal stages. IR for calcitonin gene-related peptide increased in DRG neurons from midfetal to late fetal stages, after the decrease in NPY-IR. Populations of TH-IR neurons with or without NPY-IR were present in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) from midembryonic stages. TH-immunoreactive axons were not detected in the ear pinna until midfetal stages, when axons with TH-IR and NPY-IR innervated proximal arteries and TH-immunoreactive axons without NPY-IR innervated distal vessels. Vasoactive intestinal peptide-IR was detected transiently in most fetal SCG neurons with TH-IR and NPY-IR but was not detected in cutaneous axons. These results demonstrate that selective expression of NPY by subpopulations of sympathetic neurons occurs prior to innervation of their targets. This suggests that target contact is not required to establish appropriate patterns of expression of peptide neurotransmitters by cutaneous sympathetic neurons.[1]


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