The occurrence of peptidergic cellular elements in the feline vagus nerve was examined by an immunohistochemical method. Some methionine-enkephalin-like immunoreactive cells were present around a few capillaries within the vagus nerve, whereas substance-P- and vasoactive-intestinal-polypeptide-like immunoreactive cells were not observed. The methionine-enkephalin-like immunoreactive cells had an oval shape and their diameter was 7-10 μm. These cells appeared to be in contact with the pericyte of the capillaries. Though the physiological function of these enkephalin-positive cells is unclear, our findings suggest that they can act as endocrine cells and release methionine-enkephalin into the capillaries.
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