Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary VIP- and substance P-like immunoreactivities were found in considerable concentrations (VIP: 17.3±4.8 pmol/g, mean ± SEM; substance P:11.1±1.8 pmol/g) in the uveal portion of the guinea pig eye.d Immunocytochemistry localised these two regulatory peptides to nerve fibres found principally in a plexus in the iris (substance P) and in an extensive network surrounding the blood vessels of the choroid (VIP). A remarkable anatomical demarcation of the two types of peptide-containing nerves was established by the staining of substance P-containing nerves, which stops at the level of the ciliary body. This uveal area is known to be involved in the ocular responses to nociceptive stimuli. At the ultrastructural level, immunoreactivity for both peptides was localised to distinct subpopulations of p-type nerves, distinguishable by the size of their large dense-cored vesicles. Those immunoreactive for VIP were significantly larger (p〈0.0005) than those immunoreactive for substance P (95±7 nm and 82±9 nm respectively; mean ± SD). Interruption of the trigeminal pathway produced a remarkable decrease of substance P immunoreactivity in the anterior portion of the uvea (9.1±1.5 pmol/g, mean ± SEM, control; 5.3±1.3 pmol/g, denervated), but not of VIP immunoreactivity in the choroid. Following colchicine treatment, VIP-immunoreactive neuronal cell bodies were localised in the choroid. The separate anatomical localisations and distributions of the two uveal peptides appear to be related to their different origins and functional roles in the response of the eye to noxious stimuli.
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