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Type: Journal article
Title: Fall in density, but not number of myenteric neurons and circular muscle nerve fibres in guinea-pig colon with ageing
Author: Peck, C.
Samsuria, S.
Harrington, A.
King, S.
Hutson, J.
Southwell, B.
Citation: Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 2009; 21(10):1075-1090
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1350-1925
Statement of
C. J. Peck, S. D. Samsuria, A. M. Harrington, S. K. King, J. M. Hutson & B. R. Southwell
Abstract: In guinea-pig ileum, ageing has been associated with a decrease in enteric neurons. This study examined guinea-pig colon and measured changes in gut dimensions, neuron size, density and ganglionic area. Changes in motor nerve fibres in the circular muscle were also measured. Myenteric neurons in whole-mount preparations of mid-colon from 2-week, 6-month, and 2-year-old guinea-pigs were labelled immunohistochemically with the neuronal marker human neuronal protein HuC/HuD, and numbers of neurons mm(-2), neuronal size, ganglionic area mm(-2), gut length, circumference and muscle thickness were measured. Corrected numbers of neurons mm(-2) and ganglionic area mm(-2) accounting for growth of the colon were calculated. Additionally, nerve fibres in circular muscle cross-sections were labelled with antibodies against nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and substance P (SP) and the density of nerve fibres in circular muscle was measured. The numbers of neurons mm(-2) decreased by 56% (from 2 weeks to 2 years) with no change in neuron size. Total neuron numbers decreased by 19% (P = 0.14) when adjusted for changes in length and circumference with age. The percentage area of NOS- and SP-immunoreactive (IR) nerve fibres in the circular muscle decreased (P < 0.001), but the total area of NOS and SP-IR nerve fibres increased (P < 0.01) due to an age-related increase in muscle thickness. The density of myenteric neurons in guinea-pig mid-colon halved from 2 weeks to 2 years, but when the increase in colon dimensions was considered, the number of neurons decreased by only 19%. The percentage area of motor nerve fibres in the circular muscle decreased with no change in total volume of nerve fibres.
Keywords: ageing
enteric neurons
nitric oxide synthase
substance P.
Rights: © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2009.01349.x
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