, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1-7

Fluorescence histochemical evidence for axonal growth and secretion from transplanted adrenal medullary tissue

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Small pieces of rat adrenal medulla were homologously transplanted to the anterior chamber of the eye. The eyes were adrenergically denervated. Transplants became attached to and vascularized by the iris of the host eye. Transplants and irides were examined at various times postoperatively with the histochemical fluorescence method of Falck and Hillarp.

It was shown that the adrenal medullary transplants were able to produce catecholamine-containing nerves that partly reinnervated the denervated host iris. The nerves derived at least partly from groups of highly fluorescent cells, similar to the adrenaline and/or noradrenaline cells of the normal adrenal medulla. The cells were thus not similar to sympathetic adrenergic nerve cells.

Intravasal secretion of fluorescent material was observed in one case, indicating that the transplanted medullary tissue was also able to fullfill its normal endocrinological role of releasing hormones to the blood stream.

This investigation was supported by grants from the Swedish Medical Research Council (B70-14x-714-05 and B70-14x-711-05B), Svenska Livförsäkringsbolags nämnd för medicinsk forskning, Ollie and Elof Ericssons Stiftelse and Stiftelsen Therese och Johan Anderssons Minne. The skilful technical assistance of Mrs. Ulla Flyger and Mrs. Barbro Norstedt is greatfully acknowledged.