By Geoffrey Burnstock Ph.D., D.Sc., F.A.A., Marcello Costa (auth.)

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Extra info for Adrenergic Neurons: Their Organization, Function and Development in the Peripheral Nervous System

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Varicosities show considerable variation in the number of adrenergic vesicles they contain. This does not appear to depend on their proximity to smooth muscle cells, and consecutive varicosities from the same neuron appear to have a comparable vesicle density (Fillenz, 1971). It has been calculated that each varicosity in the rat iris contains approximately 1000 to 2000 vesicles (Dahlstrom, Haggendal and Hokfelt, 1966); a figure of about 500 vesicles was obtained from counts in serial sections (Hokfelt, 1969).

In the adrenergic nerve terminals in the cat spleen, the size of the 'large granular vesicles' is about 7o-8o nm, and their percentage is higher (24 per cent) (Bisby & Fillenz, I97I). In the cell bodies and non-terminal axons supplying the spleen of cat, dog, sheep and calf, the majority of the granular vesicles are of the large type (Kapeller & Mayor, I967, 1969a; Geffen & Ostberg, I969; Bisby & Fillenz, I97I; Klein&Thureson-Klein, I97I; Lagercrantz, I97I). Tranzer (1973) showed that in bovine splenic nerves five minutes post mortem, about half of the granular vesicles are small but after forty-five minutes, most of the granular vesicles are large.

Although the proportion of small to large granular visicles in these non-terminal axons is the same as in their terminals, the overall number of vesicles is at least one hundred times less (Tranzer, I973). In the adrenergic nerve terminals in the cat spleen, the size of the 'large granular vesicles' is about 7o-8o nm, and their percentage is higher (24 per cent) (Bisby & Fillenz, I97I). In the cell bodies and non-terminal axons supplying the spleen of cat, dog, sheep and calf, the majority of the granular vesicles are of the large type (Kapeller & Mayor, I967, 1969a; Geffen & Ostberg, I969; Bisby & Fillenz, I97I; Klein&Thureson-Klein, I97I; Lagercrantz, I97I).

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