Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 123, Issue 2, pp 117–130

Enteric co-innervation of motor endplates in the esophagus: state of the art ten years after

Review

Abstract

The existence of a distinct ganglionated myenteric plexus between the two layers of the striated tunica muscularis of the mammalian esophagus represented an enigma for quite a while. Although an enteric co-innervation of vagally innervated motor endplates in the esophagus has been repeatedly suggested, it was not possible until recently to demonstrate this dual innervation. Ten years ago, we were able to demonstrate that motor endplates in the rat esophagus receive a dual innervation from both vagal nerve fibers originating in the brain stem and from varicose enteric nerve fibers originating in the myenteric plexus. Since then, a considerable amount of data could be raised on enteric co-innervation and its occurrence in a variety of species, including humans, its neurochemistry, spatial relationships on motor endplates, ontogeny, and possible roles during esophageal peristalsis. These data underline the significance of this newly discovered innervation component, although its function is still largely unknown. The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge about enteric co-innervation of esophageal striated muscle and to provide some hints as to its functional significance.

Keywords

Esophagus innervation Peristalsis Enteric nervous system Striated muscle Deglutition 

Abbreviations

ACh

acetylcholine

AChE

acetylcholinesterase

AChR

acetylcholine receptor

AMB

nucleus ambiguus

α-BT

α-Bungarotoxin

CGRP

calcitonin gene-related peptide

cNTS

central subnucleus of the nucleus tractus solitarius

CS

cryosections

co rate

co-innervation rate

DEA-NO

diethylamine-NO

DiI

1,1′-dioleyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine methane sulfonate

DRG

dorsal root ganglion

EH

enzyme histochemistry

ENF

enteric nerve fibers

GAL

galanin

Glu

glutamate

IGLEs

intraganglionic laminar endings

IH

immunocytochemistry

L-ENK

Leu-enkephalin

LES

lower esophageal sphincter

L-NNA

Nω-Nitro-L-arginine

mAChRs

muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

M1, M2

muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype M1 and M2

M-ENK

Met-enkephalin

MEP

motor endplate

MF

muscle fiber

MG

myenteric ganglion

NADPH-d

NADPH-diaphorase

NKA

neurokinin A

NO

nitric oxide

NOD

nodose ganglion

nNOS

neuronal nitric oxide synthase

NPY

neuropeptide Y

PACAP

pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating (poly)peptide

SC

swallowing center

sGC

soluble guanylyl cyclase

SP

substance P

Tm-i, Tm-o

tunica muscularis, inner and outer muscle layer

Tmuc

tunica mucosa

Tsubm

tela submucosa

UES

upper esophageal sphincter

VAChT

vesicular acetylcholine transporter

VIP

vasoactive intestinal (poly)peptide

WM

whole mounts

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anatomy InstituteUniversity of Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany

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