Immunohistochemical and histochemical evidence for the presence of noradrenaline, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid in chief cells of the mouse carotid body

Research paper by Yukio Oomori, Kazuhiro Nakaya, Hiroshi Tanaka, Hiromichi Iuchi, Katsushi Ishikawa, Yohichi Satoh, Kazuyuki Ono

Indexed on: 01 Nov '94Published on: 01 Nov '94Published in: Cell and Tissue Research


The immunohistochemical study revealed tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT), serotonin, glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivities in the mouse carotid body. TH and DBH immunoreactivities were found in almost all chief cells and a few ganglion cells, and in relatively numerous varicose nerve fibers of the carotid body. The histofluorescence microscopy showed catecholamine fluorescence in almost all chief cells. However, no PNMT immunoreactivity was observed in the carotid body. Serotonin, GAD and GABA immunoreactivities were also seen in almost all chief cells of the carotid body. From combined immunohistochemistry and fluorescence histochemistry, catecholamine and serotonin or catecholamine and GABA were colocalized in almost all chief cells. Thus, these findings suggest that noradrenaline, serotonin and GABA may be synthesized and co-exist in almost all chief cells of the mouse carotid body and may play roles in chemoreceptive functions.