Occurrence and distribution of calcitonin gene-related peptide in the mammalian respiratory tract and middle ear. Cell Tissue Res
Nerve fibres displaying immunoreactivity to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are abundantly distributed in the respiratory tract of man, dog, cat, guinea-pig, rat and mouse. Numerous fine, beaded CGRP fibres were seen in the middle ear mucosa, and a moderate supply was found in the ear drum. In the nasal mucosa and in the wall of the Eustachian tube CGRP fibres occurred around blood vessels, arteries in particular. A conspicuously rich supply of CGRP fibres was seen beneath and within the epithelium. In addition, a few fibres were seen in smooth muscle bundles and close to sero-mucous glands. In the tracheo-bronchial wall CGRP fibres were distributed beneath and within the epithelium, in vascular and non-vascular smooth muscle and sometimes close to small glands. A few CGRP-immunoreactive endocrine-like cells were, in addition, distributed in the tracheal epithelium of cat, rat and mouse. The trigeminal, spinal and nodose ganglia, studied in rats and guinea-pigs, harboured numerous CGRP-immunoreactive nerve cell bodies. The cervical sympathetic ganglia were devoid of immunoreactive neuronal perikarya. Surgical and chemical (6-hydroxydopamine treatment) sympathectomy did not affect the number and distribution of CGRP fibres. The distribution of CGRP fibres in the respiratory tract suggests that CGRP may take part in sensory transmission. In addition, CGRP may affect the regulation of local blood flow, smooth muscle tone and glandular secretion.
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