Article: article from journal or magazin.
NADPH-diaphorase-positive ganglion cells of the rat adrenal gland: age- and sex-related changes in their number, size, and distribution.
Journal of Comparative Neurology
The rat adrenal gland contains ganglion cells able to synthesize nitric oxide (NO). This messenger molecule controls and modulates adrenal secretory activity and blood flow. The present study analyzed the number, size, and distribution of NO-producing adrenal neurons in adulthood and during postnatal development by means of beta-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry. This method reliably visualizes the enzyme responsible for NO generation. The reactive neurons per adrenal gland were 350-400 in both male and female adult rats. The positive nerve cell bodies were mostly located in the medulla, few being detected within the cortex and the subcapsular region. Dual labeling with anti-microtubule-associated protein 2 antibody, specific for neuronal elements, confirmed this distribution. Anti-microtubule-associated protein 1b antibody identified a subset of NADPH-d-positive neurons, displaying different degrees of maturation according to their position within the adrenal gland. At birth, there were about 220 NADPH-d-labeled neurons per adrenal gland in both sexes. As confirmed by dual immunocytochemical labeling, their great majority was evenly distributed between the cortex and the subcapsular region, the medulla being practically devoid of stained neurons. After birth, the number of adrenal NADPH-d-positive ganglion cells displayed a strong postnatal increase and reached the adult-like distribution after 1-2 months. During the period of increase, there was a transient difference in the numbers of these cells in the two sexes. Thus we present here evidence of plasticity in the number, size, and distribution of NADPH-d-positive adrenal neurons between birth and adulthood; in addition, we describe transient sex-related differences in their number and distribution during the 2nd postnatal week, which are possibly related to the epigenetic action of gonadal hormones during this period.
Adrenal Glands/anatomy & histology, Age Factors, Animals, Cell Size/physiology, Female, Ganglia/anatomy & histology, Male, NADPH Dehydrogenase/metabolism, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Sex Factors
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