Colocalization of ChAT, DβH and NADPH-d in the pancreatic neurons of the newborn guinea pig

Hai Ping Liu, Samuel Sam Wah Tay, Seng Kee Leong, Michael Schemann

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22 Scopus citations


Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) as a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of acetylcholine is thought to be present in all cholinergic neurons. However, its immunoreactivity has not been successfully applied to the study of cholinergic neurons in the pancreas. In a previous study in the pancreas of newborn guinea pig we reported the colocalization of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d), a marker for nitric oxide synthase (NOS) with various neuropeptides as well as dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH), the enzyme responsible for converting dopamine to noradrenaline. Whether NADPH-d is colocalized with ChAT in the pancreatic neurons is not known. Also it would be interesting to find out whether noradrenaline and acetylcholine could be colocalized in the same pancreatic neurons. In the present study, a method for triple labelling of ChAT, DβH and NADPH-d was used to answer the above questions. Colocalization of ChAT, DβH and NADPH-d was constantly demonstrated in the same neurons in the same sections. It is concluded that some of the pancreatic neurons may utilize more than one neurotransmitter such as nitric oxide (NO), acetylcholine and noradrenaline to achieve their function. The possible cotransmission of acetylcholine and noradrenaline was extremely intriguing, and its mechanism and significance needs to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • ChAT
  • Colocalization
  • DβH
  • Guinea pig
  • Innervation
  • NADPH-d
  • Pancreas


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