Nitric oxide synthase-immunoreactive (NOS-IR) neurons in the rat caudal dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) project selectively to the gastric fundus and may be involved in vagal reflexes controlling gastric distension. This study aimed to identify the gastric projections of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive (TH-IR) DMV neurons, whether such neurons colocalize NOS-IR, and if they are activated after esophageal distension. Gastricprojecting neurons were identified after injection of retrograde tracers into the muscle wall of the gastric fundus, corpus, or antrum/pylorus before removal and processing of the brain stems for TH- and NOS-IR. A significantly higher proportion of corpus- compared with fundus- and antrum/pylorusprojecting neurons were TH-IR (14% compared with 4% and 2%, respectively, P < 0.05). Colocalization of NOS- and TH-IR was never observed in gastric-projecting neurons. In rats tested for c-Fos activation after intermittent esophageal balloon distension, no colocalization with TH-IR was observed in DMV neurons. These findings suggest that TH-IR neurons in the caudal DMV project mainly to the gastric corpus, constitute a subpopulation distinct from that of nitrergic vagal neurons, and are not activated on esophageal distension.
|American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
|Published - Mar 2001
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)