Sympathetic preganglionic neurons contain nitric oxide synthase and project to the superior cervical ganglion: combined application of retrograde neuronal tracer and NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry

Brain Res Bull. 1995;36(5):491-4. doi: 10.1016/0361-9230(94)00234-r.


Nitric Oxide (NO), which was initially identified as an endothelium-derived relaxing factor, has recently been demonstrated to be a neuronal messenger in central and peripheral nervous systems. In the present study, we examined the possibility of NO producing neurons in teh intermediolateral (IML) cell collum of the thoracic spinal cord (Th) project to the superior cervical ganglion (SCG). First, we observed the NADPH-diaphorase-positive/nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-immunoreactive neurons of the IML and the dorsal part of the central canal at the level of Th1-Th3, and numerous fiber-stainings in the superior cervical ganglion. Second, after injecting WGA-HRP (wheat germ agglutinin-horse radish peroxidase complex), a retrograde neuronal tracer, into the SCG, and developing WGA-immunohistochemistry and the NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry in the same sections, we detected double-labeled neurons in the IML. These findings provide evidence that sympathetic preganglionic NO producing neurons directly innervate to the SCG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Autonomic Fibers, Preganglionic / cytology
  • Autonomic Fibers, Preganglionic / physiology*
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / physiology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Male
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Synaptic Transmission*
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins


  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinins
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase