Author(s): Firth SI, Kaufman PL, De Jean BJ, Byers JM, Marshak DW. Innervation of the uvea by galanin and somatostatin immunoreactive axons in macaques and baboons. Exp Eye Res. 2002 Jul;75(1):49-60. PMID 12123636
The neuropeptide galanin has not been localized previously in the primate uvea, and the neuropeptide somatostatin has not been localized in the uvea of any mammal. Here, the distribution of galanin-like and somatostatin-like immunoreactive axons in the iris, ciliary body and choroid of macaques and baboons using double and triple immunofluorescence labeling techniques and confocal microscopy was reported. In the ciliary body, galanin-like immunoreactive axons innervated blood vessels and the ciliary processes, particularly at their bases. In the iris, the majority of these axons was associated with the loose connective tissue in the stroma. Somatostatin-like immunoreactive axons were found in many of the same areas of the uvea supplied by cholinergic nerves. In the ciliary body, there were labelled axons within the ciliary processes and ciliary muscle. They were also found alongside blood vessels in the ciliary stroma. In the iris, somatostatin-like immunoreactive axons were abundant in the sphincter muscle and less so in the dilator muscle. A unilateral sympathectomy had no effect on the distribution of somatostatin-like or galanin-like immunoreactive axons, and these axons did not contain the sympathetic marker tyrosine hydroxylase. They did not contain the parasympathetic marker choline acetyltransferase, either. The galanin-like immunoreactive axons contained other neuropeptides found in sensory nerves, including calcitonin gene-related peptide, substance P and cholecystokinin. Somatostatin-like immunoreactive axons did not contain any of these sensory neuropeptides or galanin-like immunoreactivity, and they were neither labelled with an antibody to 200kDa neurofilament protein, nor did they bind isolectin-IB(4). Nevertheless, they are likely to be of sensory origin because somatostatin-like immunoreactive perikarya have previously been localized in the trigeminal ganglion of primates. Taken together, these findings indicate galanin and somatostatin are present in two different subsets of sensory axons in primate uvea.