NADPH-diaphorase staining in autonomic and somatic cranial ganglia of the rat

Neuroreport. 1993 Jan;4(1):62-4. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199301000-00016.


Using NADPH-diaphorase staining as a marker for the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) we have investigated the possible sites of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in a number of cranial ganglia in the rat. Intense staining was found in the majority of neurones in the sphenopalatine ganglion, suggesting a major role for NO in postganglionic parasympathetic systems in the head. In contrast the neurones of the superior cervical ganglion were not stained by this histochemical procedure but were enveloped by a mesh of intensely staining fibres. As preganglionic sympathetic neurones in the intermediolateral horn of the spinal cord stain for NADPH-diaphorase, our results would suggest that NO acts as a neurotransmitter between pre- and post-ganglionic sympathetic neurones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Fibers, Postganglionic / enzymology
  • Autonomic Fibers, Postganglionic / physiology
  • Female
  • Ganglia / enzymology*
  • Ganglia, Autonomic / enzymology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Male
  • NADPH Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Neurons, Afferent / enzymology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Trigeminal Nerve / enzymology
  • Trigeminal Nerve / physiology
  • Vagus Nerve / enzymology
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology


  • NADPH Dehydrogenase