Effect of age on NADPH-diaphorase-containing myenteric neurones of rat ileum and proximal colon

Cell Tissue Res. 1995 Feb;279(2):379-83. doi: 10.1007/BF00318495.


The effect of age on the distribution of NADPH-diaphorase-containing neurones was investigated in the myenteric plexus of ileum and proximal colon of embryonic day-19 rats, as well as in rats at postnatal day 4, 6 months and 26 months. The mean percentage of NADPH-diaphorase-stained neurones per ganglion was established using protein gene product 9.5(protein found in most if not all neurones)-immunostained neurones as 100%. The results revealed that there was a significant relative increase in NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurones with increasing age in the myenteric plexus of proximal colon with nearly all protein gene product 9.5-immunoreactive neurones staining for NADPH-diaphorase in 26-month-old rats. This was in marked contrast with the ileum, where no significant relative increase in NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurones was seen in aged rats. The implications of these findings in relation to programmed cell survival and cell death are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Colon / embryology
  • Colon / growth & development
  • Colon / innervation*
  • Ileum / embryology
  • Ileum / growth & development
  • Ileum / innervation*
  • Male
  • Myenteric Plexus / embryology
  • Myenteric Plexus / enzymology*
  • Myenteric Plexus / growth & development
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase / analysis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis*
  • Neurons / enzymology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase