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

Postganglionic nerve cell bodies and neurotransmitter localization in the teleost heart.

A study was undertaken to determine the distribution of specific types of autonomic nerves and the presence of various transmitter substances in the heart of two teleost species: the mullet (Mugil cephalus) and the Nile catfish (Synodontis nigriventris). Large nerve trunks in the sinus venosus were shown to contain tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity and indicate the location of adrenergic nerve fibers, which are also associated with a coronary circulation to the ventricular myocardium in the mullet heart. Fluorescence immunolabelling methods revealed that the atrium and the outer and inner compact muscle of the ventricle have nerves in which substance P and galanin (GA) are localized. It seems likely that the cell bodies (perikarya) of the substance P and GA-immunopositive axons are located at sites outside the heart. The GA-immunopositive nerve fibers may represent a population of axons of intramural postganglionic nerve cell bodies. Most intracardiac nerve cell bodies are located in the sinus venosus and in the sinoatrial junction and reveal immunoreactivity to substance P, GA, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP). Furthermore, substance P immunoreactivity is present in the cardiac cells intermingled with the substance P-immunopositive nerve fibers. A nerve plexus consisting of a well-developed network of nerve fibers and nerve cell bodies may possibly correspond to a cardiac pacemaker, but its function in fish cardiac regulation is unknown and remains to be elucidated.[1]


  1. Postganglionic nerve cell bodies and neurotransmitter localization in the teleost heart. Zaccone, G., Mauceri, A., Maisano, M., Giannetto, A., Parrino, V., Fasulo, S. Acta Histochem. (2010) [Pubmed]
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