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Principal neurons projecting to the pineal gland in close association with small intensely fluorescent cells in the superior cervical ganglion of rats

Summary

The localization in the superior cervical ganglia (SCG) of small, intensely fluorescent (SIF) cells and of principal nerve (PN) cells innervating the pineal gland was examined in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. PN cells were demonstrated by means of the retrograde neuron-tracing method using the fluorescent tracer Fluoro-Gold (FG) injected into the pineal gland. SIF cells were visualized by the formaldehyde-induced fluorescence method. Twentynine percent of the FG-labeled PN cells were found closely associated with SIF cells. In the rostral half of the ganglion, 43% of the SIF cells were situated in juxtaposition to one or several labeled neurons. The possible influence of SIF cells on the regulation of pineal metabolism is discussed with respect to their role as both local endocrine cells and interneurons.

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Correspondence to Dr. Stefan Reuss.

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Reuss, S., Schröder, H. Principal neurons projecting to the pineal gland in close association with small intensely fluorescent cells in the superior cervical ganglion of rats. Cell Tissue Res. 254, 97–100 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00220021

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Key words

  • Pineal gland
  • Retrograde tracing
  • SIF cells
  • Superior cervical ganglia
  • Rat (Sprague-Dawley)