Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 57–68

On the presence of neurotrophin p75 receptor on rat sympathetic cerebrovascular nerves

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10735-007-9126-1

Cite this article as:
Loesch, A. & Cowen, T. J Mol Hist (2008) 39: 57. doi:10.1007/s10735-007-9126-1


Although the presence of neurotrophin p75 receptor on sympathetic nerves is a well-recognised feature, there is still a scarcity of details of the distribution of the receptor on cerebrovascular nerves. This study examined the distribution of p75 receptor on perivascular sympathetic nerves of the middle cerebral artery and the basilar artery of healthy young rats using immunohistochemical methods at the laser confocal microscope and transmission electron microscope levels. Immunofluorescence methods of detection of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in sympathetic nerves, p75 receptor associated with the nerves, and also S-100 protein in Schwann cells were applied in conjunction with confocal microscopy, while the pre-embedding single and double immunolabelling methods (ExtrAvidin and immuno-gold-silver) were applied for the electron microscopic examination. Immunofluorescence studies revealed “punctuate” distribution of the p75 receptor on sympathetic nerves including accompanying Schwann cells. Image analysis of the nerves showed that the level of co-localization of p75 receptor and TH was low. Immunolabelling applied at the electron microscope level also showed scarce co-localization of TH (which was intra-axonal) and p75. Immunoreactivity for p75 receptor was present on the cell membrane of perivascular axons and to a greater extent on the processes of accompanying Schwann cells. Some Schwann cell processes were adjacent to each other displaying strong immunoreactivity for p75 receptor; immunoreactivity was located on the extracellular sites of the adjacent cell membranes suggesting that the receptor was involved in cross talk between these. It is likely that variability of locations of p75 receptor detected in the study reflects diverse interactions of p75 receptor with axons and Schwann cells. It might also imply a diverse role for the receptor and/or the plasticity of sympathetic cerebrovascular nerves to neurotrophin signalling.


Rat cerebral arteries Innervation p75 Receptor Immunolabelling Ultrastructure 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology (Hampstead Campus), Royal Free and University College Medical SchoolUniversity College LondonLondonUK