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      Adventitial Neuronal Somata


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          Confocal analysis of the whole-mount rat mesenteric branch arteries (MBA) revealed nucleated structures with axonal processes which immunostained for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Immunocytochemistry ruled out the possibility that these were immune elements (macrophages and mast or dendritic cells) in close proximity with nerve fibers. To test our hypothesis that β-CGRP is expressed in the rat MBA, we performed RT-PCR using total RNA isolated from the mesenteric artery arcade and intron spanning primers designed to amplify 188 bp of the β-CGRP and 333 bp of α-CGRP cDNA. The PCR yielded an amplicon of the predicted size which was cloned into the pCR 3.1 vector. DNA sequence analysis of the insert showed 100% homology with the β-CGRP cDNA, indicating that mRNA encoding β-CGRP is expressed in the vessel. To learn whether neuronal cell bodies are located in the adventitia of MBA, we performed a limited collagenase digestion of isolated segments and plated the resulting cells in Ham’s F12 medium with 10% horse serum on polyornithine-coated cover glasses. The medium was replaced after 48 h with Ham’s F12 nutrient mixture containing N2 supplement. This resulted in a mixed population of fibroblasts, a small number of smooth muscle cells and a subset of cells that sprouted axons and immunostained positively for neuronal cell adhesion molecule and CGRP antigens. Fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells did not label with these antibodies. These data demonstrate, for the first time, that a population of adventitial neuronal somata (termed ANNIES), possibly of sensory nerve origin, is located in small mesenteric arteries.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Impaired Nociception and Pain Sensation in Mice Lacking the Capsaicin Receptor

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            Multilineage potential of cells from the artery wall.

            In diabetes or atherosclerosis, ectopic bone, fat, cartilage, and marrow often develop in arteries. However the mechanism is unknown. We have previously identified a subpopulation of vascular cells (calcifying vascular cells, CVC), derived by dilutional cloning of bovine aortic medial cells, and showed that they undergo osteoblastic differentiation and mineralization. We now show that CVC have the potential to differentiate along other mesenchymal lineages. To determine the multilineage potential of CVC, molecular and functional markers of multiple mesenchymal lineages were assessed. Chondrogenic potential of CVC was evidenced by expression of types II and IX collagen and cytochemical staining for Alcian blue. Leiomyogenic potential of CVC was evidenced by the expression of smooth muscle-alpha actin, calponin, caldesmon, and myosin heavy chain. Stromogenic potential of CVC was evidenced by the ability to support growth of colony-forming units of hematopoietic progenitor cells from human CD34+ umbilical cord blood cells for a period of 5 weeks. Adipogenic potential was not observed. CVC were immunopositive to antigens to CD29 and CD44 but not to CD14 or CD45, consistent with other mesenchymal stem cells. CVC retained multipotentiality despite passaging and expansion through more than 20 to 25 population triplings, indicating a capacity for self-renewal. These results suggest that the artery wall contains cells that have the potential for multiple lineages similar to mesenchymal stem cells but with a unique differentiation repertoire.
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              Differential expression of α-CGRP and β-CGRP by primary sensory neurons and enteric autonomic neurons of the rat


                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                May 2006
                17 May 2006
                : 43
                : 3
                : 278-288
                aCardiovascular Disease Research Program, Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C., and bHypertension and Vascular Disease Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C., USA
                92765 J Vasc Res 2006;43:278–288
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 12, References: 28, Pages: 11
                Research Paper


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