Histochemistry and cell biology

Morphology of P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings in the rat laryngeal mucosa.

PMID 26475709


The morphological characteristics of P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings in the laryngeal mucosa were herein examined using immunohistochemistry with confocal laser microscopy. Ramified intraepithelial nerve endings immunoreactive to P2X3 were distributed in the epiglottis and arytenoid region. The axon terminals of P2X3-immunoreactive ramified endings were beaded or flat in shape. These endings were also immunoreactive to P2X2 and not identical to the nerve endings immunoreactive to Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase α3-subunit, substance P (SP), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). P2X3-immunoreactive axon terminals were also immunoreactive to vGLUT1, vGLUT2, and vGLUT3. In addition to ramified endings, P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings were associated with α-gustducin-immunoreactive solitary chemosensory cells and/or SNAP25-immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells. Furthermore, P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings were also observed in the taste bud-like chemosensory cell clusters of the stratified squamous epithelium covering epiglottic and arytenoid cartilage. The P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings that associated with sensory and/or endocrine cells and chemosensory cell clusters were also immunoreactive to P2X2, vGLUT1, vGLUT2, and vGLUT3, but not to SP or CGRP. In conclusion, P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings may be classified into two types, i.e., intraepithelial ramified nerve endings and nerve endings associated with chemosensory cells and neuroendocrine cells.