Neuropeptides mark functionally distinguishable cholinergic enteric neurons. Academic Article uri icon


  • Subpopulations of physiologically identified cholinergic enteric neurons in cell culture contain somatostatin (SOM)- or vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)- like immunoreactivity (LIR). These subpopulations differ in their synaptic effects on other neurons: cholinergic neurons that contain SOM-LIR cause fast nicotinic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) that have significantly larger amplitudes than do EPSPs caused by cholinergic neurons that lack SOM-LIR. Cholinergic neurons containing VIP-LIR cause slow non-cholinergic depolarizations in addition to fast nicotinic EPSPs. These findings are the first correlation between neuropeptide content and functional differences in the synaptic effects of subpopulations of cholinergic enteric neurons.

publication date

  • September 29, 1987