VIP-like immunoreactivity was revealed in a few chromaffin cells, medullary ganglion cells and a plexus of varicose nerve fibers in the superficial cortex and single varicose fibers in the juxtamedullary cortex and the medulla of the rat adrenal gland. VIP-like immunoreactive chromaffin cells were polygonal in shape without any distinct cytoplasmic processes and they appeared solitarily. Their cytoplasm contained abundant granular vesicles having a round core and the immunoreactive material was localized to the granular core. VIP-immunoreactive ganglion cells were multipolar and had large intracytoplasmic vacuoles. The immunoreactive material was localized not only in a few granular vesicles but also diffusely throughout the axoplasm. VIP-immunoreactive varicose nerve fibers in the superficial cortex were characterized by abundant small clear vesicles and some large granular vesicles, while those in the juxtamedullary cortex and medulla and the ganglionic processes were characterized by abundant large clear vesicles, as well as the same vesicular elements as contained in the nerves in the superficial cortex. The immunoreactive material was localized on the granular cores and diffusely in the axoplasm in both nerves. Based on the similarity and difference in the composition of the vesicles contained in individual nerves, it is likely that the VIP-immunoreactive nerve fibers in the medulla and the juxtamedullary cortex are derived from the medullary VIP-ganglion cells, while those in the superficial cortex are of extrinsic origin. The immunoreactive nerve fibers in both the cortex and the medulla were often in direct contact with cortical cells and chromaffin cells, where no membrane specializations were formed. The immunoreactive nerve fibers were sometimes associated with the smooth muscle cells and pericytes of small blood vessels in the superficial cortex. In addition they were often seen in close apposition to the fenestrated endothelial cells in the cortex and the medulla, only a common basal lamina intervening. Several possible mechanisms by which VIP may exert its effect in the adrenal gland are discussed.
Cell and Tissue Research – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1986
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