Projections and chemistry of Dogiel type II neurons in the mouse colon

Cell Tissue Res. 2004 Jul;317(1):1-12. doi: 10.1007/s00441-004-0895-5. Epub 2004 May 29.


The physiological properties, shapes, projections and neurochemistries of Dogiel type II neurons have been thoroughly investigated in the guinea-pig intestine in which these neurons have been identified as intrinsic primary afferent neurons. Dogiel type II neurons in the myenteric ganglia of mice have similar physiological properties to those in guinea-pigs but whether other features of the neurons are similar is unknown. We have used intracellular dye-filling, retrograde tracing, immunohistochemistry and nerve lesions to determine salient features of Dogiel type II neurons of the mouse colon. Dye-filling showed that the neurons provide profuse terminal networks in the myenteric ganglia and also have axons that project towards the mucosa. Retrograde tracing and lesion studies showed that these axons provide direct innervation to the mucosa. High proportions of the neurons had immunoreactivity for calretinin, calbindin, choline acetyltransferase, the purine P2X2 receptor and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP was the most selective marker of the neurons. Following surgery to remove an area of myenteric plexus, the CGRP-immunoreactive nerve fibres in the mucosa degenerated. Thus, Dogiel type II neurons in mice have similar shapes and projections but some differences in chemistry from those in guinea-pigs. The close similarities between the two species in the shapes, projections and electrophysiology of these neurons suggest that they serve the same functions in both species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Cell Shape
  • Cell Surface Extensions / physiology*
  • Colon / innervation*
  • Coloring Agents
  • Gastric Mucosa / cytology
  • Mice
  • Myenteric Plexus / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*


  • Coloring Agents