Cytochrome oxidase activity in vagal and glossopharyngeal visceral sensory neurons of the rat: effect of peripheral axotomy

Hiroyuki Ichikawa, Cinda J. Helke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Cytochrome oxidase (CO) activity, an endogenous metabolic marker, was examined in visceral sensory neurons of the rat nodose and petrosal ganglia by using enzyme histochemistry. In the normal nodose and petrosal ganglia, nerve cells showed various degrees of staining intensity. The population of darkly stained neurons in the nodose ganglion was higher than in the petrosal ganglion. Axotomy of the peripheral axons of these bipolar sensory neurons was used to study potential changes in ganglionic cellular metabolism associated with loss of afferent inputs and/or injury. Peripheral axotomy had a significant effect on CO activity in the nodose ganglion. By 3 days after axotomy, darkly stained neurons decreased in number and lightly stained neurons, which were not observed in the normal ganglion, appeared in the nodose ganglion. At 7 days after axotomy, the average population of these lightly stained neurons increased to 29% in the nodose ganglion. Subsequently, the population decreased so that at 14 days and 21 days, 19% and 7% respectively of neurons were stained lightly. Even at 28 days after axotomy, the lightly stained neurons were still observed. In the petrosal ganglion, no remarkable change was observed at any stage after axotomy. These results suggest that metabolic activity decreases in some nodose neurons after peripheral nerve section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Apr 24
Externally publishedYes


  • Axotomy
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Enzyme histochemistry
  • Rat
  • Visceral sensory neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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