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Cell Tissue Res April 1, 2004; 316 (1): 45-54.

Neurotrophin receptors and enteric neuronal development during metamorphosis in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

Sundqvist M , Holmgren S .

During metamorphosis, the frog intestine goes through a dramatic shortening with extensive apoptosis and regeneration in the epithelial layer and connective tissue. Our aim was to study changes in the enteric nervous system represented by one inhibitory (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide; VIP) and one excitatory (substance P, neurokinin A; SP/NKA) nerve population and concomitant changes in neurotrophin receptor occurrence during this development in the gut of Xenopus laevis adults and tadpoles at different stages of metamorphosis (NF stages 57-66). Sections were incubated with antibodies against the neurotrophin Trk receptors and p75NTR, and the neurotransmitters VIP and SP/NKA. Trk-immunoreactive nerves increased dramatically but transiently in number during early metamorphic climax. Nerves immunoreactive for p75NTR were present throughout the gut, decreased in number in the middle intestine during climax, and increased in the large intestine during late metamorphosis. The percentage of VIP-immunoreactive nerves did not change during metamorphosis. SP/NKA-immunoreactive nerves were first apparent at NF stages 61-62 in the middle intestine and increased in the stomach and large intestine during metamorphosis. Endocrine cells expressing SP/NKA increased in number in stomach, proximal, and middle intestine during metamorphic climax. Thus, neurotrophin receptors are expressed transiently in neurons of the enteric nervous system during metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis and SP/NKA innervation is more abundant in the intestine of the postmetamorphic frog than in the tadpole.

PubMed ID: 14986100
Article link: Cell Tissue Res

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ngfr ntrk1 ntrk2 ntrk3 tac1 tuba4b vip