, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 89–98 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical demonstration of VIP, [Met5]- and [Leu5]-enkephalin immunoreactive nerve fibres in the human prostate and seminal vesicles

  • Annikki Vaalasti
  • Ilona Linnoila
  • A. Hervonen


The distribution of nerves containing immunoreactivity for the VIP and enkephalins has been demonstrated in the human prostate and seminal vesicles using the immunoperoxidase bridge. VIP-containing nerves were detected in both organs studied mainly in association with the epithelium, while nerves containing ELI seemed to be related to smooth muscle. Compared with the distribution of adrenergic and cholinergic nerves in the prostate marked differences in the density of the innervation were detected. The possible nature of these peptide-containing nerves is discussed.


Public Health Smooth Muscle Nerve Fibre Seminal Vesicle Human Prostate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alm P, Alumets J, Brodin E, Håkanson R, Nilsson G, Sjöberg N-O, Sundler F (1978) Peptidergic (substance P) nerves in the genito-urinary tract. Neuroscience 3:419–425Google Scholar
  2. Alm P, Alumets J, Håkanson R, Sundler F (1977) Peptidergic (vasoactive intestinal peptide) nerves in the genito-urinary tract. Neuroscience 2:751–754Google Scholar
  3. Alumets J, Fahrenkrug J, Håkanson R, Schaffalitzky de Muckadel O, Sundler F, Uddman R (1979) A rich VIP nerve supply is characteristic of sphincters. Nature 280:155–157Google Scholar
  4. Baumgarten HG, Holstein AF, Owman C (1970) Auerbachs plexus of mammals and man: Electron microscopic identification of three different types of neuronal processes in myenteric ganglia of the large intestine from Rhesus monkeys, guinea-pigs and man. Z. Zellforsch. 106:376–397Google Scholar
  5. Bishop A, Polak JM (1978) Peripheral peptidergic innervation. TINS 1:60–62Google Scholar
  6. Bryant MG, Bloom SR, Polak JM, Albuquerque RH, Modlin I, Pearse AGE (1976) Possible dual role for vasoactive intestinal peptide as gastrointestinal hormone and neurotransmitter substance. Lancet 1:991–993Google Scholar
  7. Burnstock G (1972) Purinergic nerves. Pharmacol Rev 24:509–581Google Scholar
  8. Eränkö O (1967) The practical histochemical demonstration of catecholamines by formaldehyde-induced fluorescence. J Roy Microsc Soc 87:259–276Google Scholar
  9. Giachetti A, Said SI, Reynolds RC, Koniges FC (1977) Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in brain: Localization in and release from isolated nerve terminals. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 74:3424–3428Google Scholar
  10. Gomori G (1952) Enzymes. In: Microscopic histochemistry — principles and practice. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 137–221Google Scholar
  11. Hervonen A, Linnoila RI, Pickel VM, Helen P, Pelto-Huikko M, Alho H, Kanerva L (1980) Localization of [met5] and [leu5] enkephalin in nerve terminals and SIF cells in human sympathetic ganglion. Proceedings of III International Symposium on Nervous Transmission. Raven Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Hervonen A, Linnoila RI, Pickel VM, Helen P, Pelto-Huikko M, Miller RJ (1980) Localization of met5 and leu5 enkephalin in nerve terminals in human sympathetic ganglia. Brain Res (to be published)Google Scholar
  13. Hökfelt T, Elfvin LG, Elde R, Schultzberg M, Goldstein M, Luft R (1977a) Occurrence of somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in some peripheral sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 74:3587–3591Google Scholar
  14. Hökfelt T, Elfvin L-G, Schultzberg M, Fuxe K, Said SI, Mutt V, Goldstein M (1977b) Immunohistochemical evidence of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-containing neurons and nerve fibers in sympathetic ganglia. Neuroscience 2:885–896Google Scholar
  15. Hökfelt T, Schultzberg M, Elde R, Nilsson G, Terenius L, Said S, Goldstein M (1978) Peptide neurons in peripheral tissues including the urinary tract: Immunohistochemical studies. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol 43:79–89Google Scholar
  16. Koelle GB (1951) The elimination of enzymatic diffusion artifacts in the histochemical localization of cholinesterases and a survey of cellular distributions. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 103:153–171Google Scholar
  17. Larsson L-I (1977) Ultrastructural localization of a new neuronal peptide (VIP). Histochemistry 54:173–176Google Scholar
  18. Larsson L-I, Fahrenkrug J, Schaffalitzky de Muckadell OB (1977a) Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide occurs in nerves of the female genitourinary tract. Science 197:1374–1375Google Scholar
  19. Larsson L-I, Fahrenkrug J, Schaffalitzky de Muckadell OB (1977b) Occurrence of nerves containing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide immunoreactivity in the male genital tract. Life Sci 21:503–508Google Scholar
  20. Larsson L-I, Fahrenkrug J, Schaffalitzky de Muckadell OB, Sundler F, Håkanson R, Rehfeld JF (1976) Localization of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) to central and peripheral neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 73:3197–3200Google Scholar
  21. Linnoila RI, DiAugustine RP, Hervonen A, Miller RJ (1980) Distribution of leu5 and met5 enkephalin-, VIP-, and substance P-like immunoreactivity in human adrenal glands. Neuroscience (in press)Google Scholar
  22. Linnoila RI, DiAugustine RP, Miller RJ, Chang KJ, Cuatrecasas P (1978) An immunolistochemical and radioimmunological study of the distribution of Met5- and Leu5-enkephalin in the gastrointestinal tract. Neuroscience 3:1187–1196Google Scholar
  23. Lundberg JM, Hamberger B, Schultzberg M, Hökfelt T, Granberg P-O, Efendic S, Terenius L, Goldstein M, Luft R (1979) Enkephalin- and somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in human adrenal medulla and pheochromocytoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76:4079–4083Google Scholar
  24. Miller RJ, Chang K, Cooper B, Cuatrecasas P (1978) Radioimmunoassay and characterization of enkephalin in rat tissues. J Biol Chem 253:531–538Google Scholar
  25. Pelletier G, Leclerc R (1979) Localization of leu-enkephalin in dense core vesicles of axon terminals. Neurosci Lett 12:159–163Google Scholar
  26. Petrusz P, Dimeo P, Ordronneau P, Weaver C, Keefer DA (1975) Improved immunoglobulin enzyme bridge method for light microscopic demonstration of hormone-containing cells in rat adenohypophysis. Histochemistry 46:9–26Google Scholar
  27. Pickel VM, Joh TJ, Reis DJ, Leeman SE, Miller RJ (1979) Electron microscopic localization of substance P and enkephalin in axon terminals related to dendrites of catecholaminergic neurons. Brain Res 160:387–400Google Scholar
  28. Polak JM, Sullivan SN, Bloom SR, Facer P, Pearse AGE (1977) Enkephalin like immunoreactivity in the human gastrointestinal tract. Lancet 1:972–979Google Scholar
  29. Said SI, Faloona GR (1975) Elevated plasma and tissue levels of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in the watery-diarrhea syndrome due to pancreatic, bronchogenic and other tumors. N Engl J Med 293:155–160Google Scholar
  30. Said SI, Mutt V (1970) Polypeptide with broad biological activity. Isolation from small intestine. Science 169:1217–1218Google Scholar
  31. Schultzberg M, Hökfelt T, Terenius L, Elfvin L-G, Lundberg JM, Brandt J, Elde RP, Goldstein M (1979) Enkephalin immunoreactivity in sympathetic nerve fibres and cell bodies in sympathetic ganglia of the guinea-pig and rat. Neuroscience 4:249–270Google Scholar
  32. Vaalasti A, Hervonen A (1979) Innervation of the ventral prostate of the rat. Am J Anat 154:231–243Google Scholar
  33. Vaalasti A, Hervonen A (1980a) Autonomic innervation of the human prostate. Invest Urol 17:293–297Google Scholar
  34. Vaalasti A, Hervonen A (1980b) Nerve endings in the human prostate. Am J Anat 155:41–47Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annikki Vaalasti
    • 1
  • Ilona Linnoila
    • 2
  • A. Hervonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences Box 607University of TampereTampere 10Finland
  2. 2.Endocrinology Group, Laboratory of Pulmonary Function and ToxicologyNational Institute of Environmental Health SciencesResearch Triangle ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations