Mammalian peribronchial tissue is supplied by several peptide-containing nerve fibers. Although it is well established that different neuropeptides exert significant effects on bronchial and vascular tone in the lungs, the role played by some neuromediators on the general regulation, differentiation and release of locally active substances is still controversial. We studied the innervation of rat peribronchial tissue by immunohistochemical techniques. The immunoperoxidase method with nickel amplification was applied to detect the distribution of nerve fibers using antibodies against the general neuronal marker PGP 9.5 (neuron-specific cytoplasmic protein), while the cholinacetyltransferase immunoreactivity was studied by immunohistochemistry. A slight immunoreactivity for NT receptors is observed in lung bronchial epithelium. There is increasing evidence that NTs may act with a paracrine mechanism regulating functional activity of neuronal and non-neuronal structures. A specific immunoreactivity for NTs and NT receptors was also demonstrated within different layers of large, medium and small sized intrapulmonary arteries and veins, according to a recent study of our group. Moreover our data describe the expression of NTs and NT receptors in lymphoid aggregates of the lung (BALT) in which both lymphocytes and macrophages express TrkA receptor and synthesize NTs. Our results show the presence of an extensive network of innervation in the rat peribronchial tissue, confirming a morphological basis for a possible neural modulation of the respiratory mucosa and the physiological/pathophysiological mechanisms of the lung.
Peribronchial innervation of the rat lung / ARTICO M.; BOSCO S.; BRONZETTI E.; FELICI LM.; PELUSI G.; LO VASCO VR.; VITALE M.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE. - ISSN 1107-3756. - 14(4)(2004), pp. 615-620.
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