Fetal spinal cord tissue was grafted to the anterior chamber of the eye of adult rats in order to evaluate survival and distribution of substance P- and enkephalin-immunoreactive neurons. Capsaicin treatment was used to evaluate any possible contribution of host iris-derived substance P fibres to the innervation of the grafts and to check for capsaicin sensitivity of graft substance P-positive systems. Substance P- and enkephalin-immunoreactive nerve fibres were present in grafts of half-transverse segments of the spinal cord and were clearly co-distributed throughout the grafts. Areas with a high density of substance P- and enkephalin-positive fibres resembling substantia gelatinosa were seen. Grafts of the dorsal horn alone had a moderate to high density of substance P- and enkephalin-positive fibres, while ventral horn grafts contained a low amount of such fibres. Capsaicin eliminated the substance P innervation of the host iris and the dorsal root ganglion-derived substance P innervation of the host spinal cord, while sparing the intrinsic substance P innervation of both host spinal cord and spinal cord grafts. These experiments show that intra-ocular grafts of defined spinal cord areas express relatively organotypic amounts of substance P- and enkephalin-positive nerve fibres, and thus emphasize the importance of intrinsic genetic determinants for spinal cord development.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Acta Physiologica Scandinavica|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1986|
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