, Volume 440, Issue 3, pp 393-408

Projections and neurochemical coding of motor neurones to the circular and longitudinal muscle of the guinea pig gastric corpus

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The present study identified projection and neurochemical coding patterns of intrinsic circular (CMN) and longitudinal muscle motor neurones (LMN) in the guinea pig stomach by using the retrograde tracer DiI (1,1′-didodecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate) in combination with the immunohistochemical demonstration of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), enkephalin (ENK), neuropeptide Y (NPY), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and substance P (SP). Populations of LMN and CMN had similar neurochemical coding and a clear polarity of projection. Taking all DiI-labeled cell bodies as 100%, ascending pathways exhibited the coding ChAT/– (CMN:14.7%/LMN:18.3%), ChAT/ENK (15.7%/10.1%), ChAT/SP/±ENK (19.2%/16.4%), or ChAT/NPY (4.4%/7.6%); descending pathways had the coding NOS/– (13.8%/16.9%), NOS/NPY (9.9%/17%), NOS/ENK (4.4%/1.2%) or NOS/NPY/ENK (13.0%/5.5%). The relative contributions of these populations were not different between CMN and LMN. However, target-specific projection patterns were revealed: most LMN (82%) had longitudinal whereas most CMN (58%) had circumferential projection preferences. The results indicate that gastric circular and longitudinal muscle layers are innervated by ascending excitatory and descending inhibitory pathways in the myenteric plexus. The projection patterns of CMN and LMN were different and followed the orientation of the muscle layers. It is suggested that the specific muscle motor pathways in the gastric myenteric plexus coordinate the reflex-mediated phasic and tonic activity of gastric muscle layers.

Received after revision: 24 February 2000
Electronic Publication