The innervation pattern of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-immunoreactive (VIP-IR) nerves in the quail internal carotid artery (ICA) and cerebral arterial tree was investigated and compared with that of acetylcholinesterase- positive (AChE-P) nerves. The supply of VIP-IR nerves to the two arterial systems was distinctly richer than that of AChE-P nerves. It was focused mainly on the walls from the distal ICA to the caudal half of the anterior ramus (AR) through the cerebral carotid artery (CCA). Indeed, double staining clearly showed that numerous VIP+/AChE- axons were distributed over these arterial regions where VIP+/AChE+ or AChE+/VIP- axons were sporadic or often lacking. The finding that nerve bundles accompanying the ICA within the carotid canal contained abundant VIP+/AChE- nerve cells suggests that cerebrovascular VIP-IR nerves in the quail have their major source at these neurons and enter the cranial cavity through the CCA. Another significant finding was that a small number of nerve cells, which were mostly stained for AChE alone and occasionally for VIP alone or both, occurred in the major arteries located more rostral than the middle AR. Thus, the quail cerebral arterial tree, at least the rostral segment of the anterior circulation, is multiply innervated by these three distinct categories of the extracranial and intracranial VIP-IR and AChE-P neurons.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes