A comparison of the distribution and morphology of ChAT-, VAChT-immunoreactive and AChE-positive neurons in the thoracolumbar and sacral spinal cord of the pig

https://doi.org/10.17221/1925-VETMEDCitation:Calka J., Zalecki M., Wasowicz K., Arciszewski M.B., Lakomy M. (2008): A comparison of the distribution and morphology of ChAT-, VAChT-immunoreactive and AChE-positive neurons in the thoracolumbar and sacral spinal cord of the pig. Veterinarni Medicina, 53: 434-444.
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Present knowledge concerning the organization of cholinergic structures of the spinal cord has been derived primarily from studies on small laboratory animals, while there is a complete lack of information concerning its structure in the pig. In the present study we employed choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) immunocytochemistry and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) histochemistry to identify the cholinergic neuronal population in the thoracolumbar and sacral spinal cord of the pig. The distribution of ChAT-, VAChT- and AChE-positive cells was found to be similar. Distinct groups of cholinergic neurons were observed in the gray matter of the ventral horn, intermediolateral nucleus, intermediomedial nucleus as well as individual stained cells were found in the area around the central canal and in the base of the dorsal horn. Double staining confirmed complete colocalization of ChAT with AChE in the ventral horn and intermediolateral nucleus although in the intermediomedial nucleus only 64% of the AChE-positive neurons expressed ChAT-immunoreactivity, indicating unique, region restricted, diversity of ChAT and AChE staining. Our results revealed details concerning spatial distribution and morphological features of the cholinergic neurons in the thoracolumbar and sacral spinal cord of the pig. We also found that the pattern of distribution of cholinergic neurons in the porcine spinal cord shows great similarity to the organization of the cholinergic system in other mammalian species studied.
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