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The reactions of specific neuron types to intestinal ischemia in the guinea pig enteric nervous system

journal contribution
posted on 2009-08-01, 00:00 authored by Leni RiveraLeni Rivera, M Thacker, P Castelucci, R Bron, J B Furness
Damage following ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) is common in the intestine and can be caused during abdominal surgery, in several disease states and following intestinal transplantation. Most studies have concentrated on damage to the mucosa, although published evidence also points to effects on neurons. Moreover, alterations of neuronally controlled functions of the intestine persist after I/R. The present study was designed to investigate the time course of damage to neurons and the selectivity of the effect of I/R damage for specific types of enteric neurons. A branch of the superior mesenteric artery supplying the distal ileum of anesthetised guinea pigs was occluded for 1 h and the animals were allowed to recover for 2 h to 4 weeks before tissue was taken for the immunohistochemical localization of markers of specific neuron types in tissues from sham and I/R animals. The dendrites of neurons with nitric oxide synthase (NOS) immunoreactivity, which are inhibitory motor neurons and interneurons, were distorted and swollen by 24 h after I/R and remained enlarged up to 28 days. The total neuron profile areas (cell body plus dendrites) increased by 25%, but the sizes of cell bodies did not change significantly. Neurons of type II morphology (intrinsic primary afferent neurons), revealed by NeuN immunoreactivity, were transiently reduced in cell size, at 24 h and 7 days. These neurons also showed signs of minor cell surface blebbing. Calretinin neurons, many of which are excitatory motor neurons, were unaffected. Thus, this study revealed a selective damage to NOS neurons that was observed at 24 h and persisted up to 4 weeks, without a significant change in the relative numbers of NOS neurons.



Acta neuropathologica






261 - 270




Heidelberg, Germany







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Springer