Neuropeptides and the innervation of the avian lacrimal gland

Academic Article


  • The chicken Harderian gland, the major lacrimal gland, has two major cell populations: a cortical secretory epithelium and a medullary interstitial cell population of lymphoid cells. There is an extensive acetylcholinesterase (AChE) network throughout the gland, as well as catecholamine positive fibers among the interstitial cells. There are substance P-like (SPLI) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-like (VIPLI) immunoreactive fibers throughout the gland. These fibers are particularly dense and varicose among the interstitial cells. The adjacent pterygopalatine ganglion complex has neuronal somata that exhibit VIPLI and were AChE-positive. This ganglion complex also contains SPLI and catecholamine-positive fibers. In regions of the ganglion, the somata appear surrounded by SPLI varicosities. Surgical ablation of the ganglion eliminated or reduced the VIPLI, AChE and catecholamine staining in the gland. The SPLI was reduced only in some regions. Ablation of the superior cervical ganglion or severance of the radix autonomica resulted in the loss of catecholamine staining in the pterygopalatine ganglion and the gland. Severance of the ophthalmic or infraorbital nerves had no effect on the VPLI or the SPLI staining pattern in the gland.
  • Author List

  • Walcott B; Sibony PA; Keyser KT
  • Start Page

  • 1666
  • End Page

  • 1674
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 7