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Sensory nerves play an efferent role in the function of the arterioles, but not the dilator muscle, of the rat iris

Sensory nerves play an efferent role in the function of the arterioles, but not the dilator muscle, of the rat iris

Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System 58(1-2): 89-100

We have studied the expression, distribution and function of receptors for the sensory neurotransmitters, substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the dilator muscle and arterioles of the rat iris. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the sensory fibres containing these peptides are distributed throughout the connective tissue stroma of the iris and in association with the larger arterioles, but do not come into close association with the dilator muscle cells. Using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, we have shown that both NK1 and NK3 receptor message is expressed by iris tissue, comprising both dilator muscle and stromal tissue. Binding sites for the NK1 agonist, (Sar-9, Met(O-2)-11)-substance P (SarSP), and for CGRP are confined to the stromal layer and to the larger arterioles within that layer and do not appear to be associated with the dilator muscle itself. Application of either SarSP or CGRP produced both a vasodilatation and an inhibition of sympathetic nerve-induced vasoconstriction of the larger arterioles. Neither SarSP nor CGRP altered the resting tone of the dilator nor were they capable of modulating the contractions due to sympathetic nervous activity. These results suggest that the sensory fibres perform an efferent role in the larger irideal arterioles while their presence in the irideal stroma appears not to modulate the activity of the dilator muscle.

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Accession: 009397150

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8740665

DOI: 10.1016/0165-1838(95)00126-3

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