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R Uddman, J Alumets, B Ehinger, R Håkanson, I Lorén, F Sundler; Vasoactive intestinal peptide nerves in ocular and orbital structures of the cat.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1980;19(8):878-885.
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Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), a neuronal peptide of ubiquitous occurrence in the body, is known to have strong vasodilatory effects and to promote secretion from many exocrine glands. Nerves displaying VIP immunoreactivity (VIP nerves) were detected in several orbital structures of the cat. Such nerves were numerous in the lacrimal glands and somewhat less numerous in the Harderian glands and the tarsal glands. The nerves surrounded glandular acini and small blood vessels. Intraocularly, VIP nerves were seen in the ciliary processes, in the posterior third of the ciliary muscle, and around small to medium-sized blood vessels in the posterior uvea. VIP nerve fibers were absent from vessels in the anterior uvea. This distribution may explain why intracranial stimulation in the oculomotor nerve exit region dilates the vessels of the choroid but not those of the iris. A large number of VIP-immunoreactive nerve cell bodies were observed in the pterygopalatine ganglion. Extirpation of this ganglion resulted in the disappearance of VIP nerves from the intraocular structures and from the lacrimal and Harderian glands. Removal of the superior cervical ganglion and the ciliary ganglion did not affect the VIP nerve supply. The results suggest that the VIP nerves originate in the pterygopalatine ganglion.
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