Identification of the populations of enteric neurons that have NK1 tachykinin receptors in the guinea-pig small intestine

Cell Tissue Res. 1998 Oct;294(1):27-33. doi: 10.1007/s004410051153.


Simultaneous immunofluorescence labelling was used to investigate the patterns of colocalisation of the NK1 tachykinin receptor with other neuronal markers, and hence determine the functional classes of neuron that bear the NK1 receptor in the guinea-pig ileum. In the myenteric plexus, 85% of NK1 receptor-immunoreactive (NK1r-IR) nerve cells had nitric oxide synthase (NOS) immunoreactivity and the remaining 15% were immunoreactive for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Of the latter group, about 50% were immunoreactive for both neuropeptide Y (NPY) and somatostatin (SOM), and had the morphologies of secretomotor neurons. Many of the remaining ChAT neurons were immunoreactive for calbindin or tachykinins (TK), but not both. These calbindin immunoreactive neurons had Dogiel type II morphology. No NK1r-IR nerve cells in the myenteric plexus had serotonin or calretinin immunoreactivity. In the submucosal ganglia, 84% of NK1r-IR nerve cells had neuropeptide Y immunoreactivity and 16% were immunoreactive for TK. It is concluded that NK1r-IR occurs in five classes of neuron; namely, in the majority of NOS-immunoreactive inhibitory motor neurons, in ChAT/TK-immunoreactive excitatory neurons to the circular muscle, in all ChAT/NPY/SOM-immunoreactive secretomotor neurons, in a small proportion of ChAT/calbindin myenteric neurons, and in about 50% of ChAT/TK submucosal neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calbindins
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Enteric Nervous System / cytology
  • Enteric Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestine, Small / innervation*
  • Male
  • Myenteric Plexus / cytology
  • Myenteric Plexus / metabolism
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I
  • Receptors, Neurokinin-1 / metabolism*
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism
  • Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Submucous Plexus / cytology
  • Submucous Plexus / metabolism


  • Calbindins
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Receptors, Neurokinin-1
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • Somatostatin
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase