Catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes in the rat stomach

Research paper by Nils Bäck, Marketta Ahonen, Seppo Soinila, Eero Kivilaakso, Tuula Kiviluoto

Indexed on: 01 Jul '95Published on: 01 Jul '95Published in: Histochemistry and cell biology


Local production of catecholamines in the stomach of the rat was studied by immunohistochemical demonstration of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) and phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT), the enzymes catalyzing the formation of dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline, respectively. A rich innervation of TH- and DBH-immunoreactive nerve fibers was seen in the muscular layers and the myenteric plexus, in the submucosa and in the walls of submucosal blood vessels and in the lamina propria at the base of the epithelial layer. In addition, TH-, but not DBH-immunoreactive nerve fiber networks surrounding ganglion cells in the myenteric plexus were frequently observed, indicating dopaminergic preganglionic innervation of the myenteric plexus. In the oxyntic epithelium, single TH- and DBH-immunoreactive fibers extended in the strands of lamina propria as far as the middle portion of the gastric glands. A small population of single angulate cells in the oxyntic epithelium showed TH-, but not DBH-immunoreactivity. No specific PNMT immunoreactivity was observed.