Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The origin of nerve fibers to the superficial temporal artery of the rat was studied by retrograde tracing with the fluorescent dye True Blue (TB). Application of TB to the rat superficial temporal artery labeled perikarya in the superior cervical ganglion, the otic ganglion, the sphenopalatine ganglion, the jugular-nodose ganglionic complex, and the trigeminal ganglion. The labeled perikarya were located in ipsilateral ganglia; a few neuronal somata were, in addition, seen in contralateral ganglia. Judging from the number of labeled nerve cell bodies the majority of fibers contributing to the perivascular innervation originate from the superior cervical, sphenopalatine and trigeminal ganglia. A moderate labeling was seen in the otic ganglion, whereas only few perikarya were labeled in the jugular-nodose ganglionic complex. Furthermore, TB-labeled perikarya were examined for the presence of neuropeptides. In the superior cervical ganglion, all TB-labeled nerve cell bodies contained neuropeptide Y. In the sphenopalatine and otic ganglia, the majority of the labeled perikarya were endowed with vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. In the trigeminal ganglion, the majority of the TB-labeled nerve cell bodies displayed calcitonin gene-related peptide, while a small population of the TB-labeled neuronal elements contained, in addition, substance P. In conclusion, these findings indicate that the majority of peptide-containing nerve fibers to the superficial temporal artery originate in ipsilateral cranial ganglia; a few fibers, however, may originate in contralateral ganglia.
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