Immunohistochemistry for several neurochemical substances, the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1) and 2 (TRPV2), P2X3 receptor, and parvalbumin (PV), was performed on the nodose ganglion, pharynx, and epiglottis in human cadavers. The nodose ganglion was situated beneath the jugular foramen, and had a spindle shape with the long rostrocaudal axis. The pharyngeal branch (PB) issued from a rostral quarter of the nodose ganglion, whereas the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) usually originated from a caudal half of the ganglion. In the nodose ganglion, sensory neurons were mostly immunoreactive for TRPV1 (89 %) or P2X3 (93.9 %). About 30 % of nodose neurons contained TRPV2 (35.7 %) - or PV (29.9 %) - immunoreactivity (-IR). These neurons mainly had small to medium-sized cell bodies, and were distributed throughout the ganglion. Neurodegenerative profiles such as shrinkage or pyknosis could not be detected in the examined ganglion. Occasionally, TRPV2-IR nerve fibers surrounded blood vessels in the epiglottis as well as in the nasal and oral parts of the pharynx. Isolated TRPV2-IR nerve fibers were also located beneath the epithelium. TRPV1-, P2X3-, or PV-IR nerve endings could not be detected in the pharynx or epiglottis. In the PB and SLN, however, numerous nerve fibers contained TRPV1-, TRPV2-, P2X3-, and PV-IR. The present study suggests that TRPV1-, TRPV2-, P2X3-, and PV-IR neurons in the human nodose ganglion innervate the pharynx and epiglottis through the PB and SLN. These neurons may respond to chemical, thermal, and mechanical stimuli during respiration and swallowing.
- Nodose ganglion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology