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

Parasympathetic innervation of cutaneous blood vessels by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-immunoreactive and acetylcholinesterase-positive nerves: histochemical and experimental study on rat lower lip.

The distribution and origin of perivascular acetylcholinesterase-active and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-immunoreactive nerve fibers were studied in the rat lower lip by means of acetylcholinesterase histochemistry and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide immunohistochemistry. The perivascular nerve fibers stained intensely with both histochemical techniques and were widely distributed on small arteries and arterioles of the lower lip, especially in the transitional zone between the hairy skin and the mucous membrane. The distributions of the two types of fibers were very similar and most of them showed overlapping coloration, on consecutive staining for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and acetylcholinesterase. Both acetylcholinesterase-positive and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-immunoreactive fibers were completely lost on removal of the otic ganglion, while they were not affected by sympathetic ganglion removal or sensory nerve sectioning. In the otic ganglion, most cells exhibited acetylcholinesterase activity, and about 60% of the cells showed light to heavy vasoactive intestinal polypeptide immunoreactivity. These findings indicate that vessels in the rat lip are innervated by parasympathetic fibers originating from the otic ganglion and support the view that vasoactive intestinal polypeptide is present in cholinergic neurons. This may suggest the possible control by the parasympathetic nervous system of cutaneous blood vessels through vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-containing cholinergic neurons, in general or at least in the facial area.[1]


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