Myenteric plexus in the gastrointestinal tract of non-obese diabetic mice
The myenteric plexus was investigated in the gastrointestinal tract of pre-diabetic and diabetic nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. The plexus was immunostained by the avidin-biotin complex method, using a general marker for nerve elements, namely protein geneproduct 9.5. The nerve fibres were quantified by pointcounting and the number of ganglia and their area were determined by image analysis. The relative volume density of the nerve fibres in duodenal muscularis propria was found to be significantly reduced in of both pre-diabetic and diabetic NOD mice. There was no statistical difference between controls and NOD mice regarding relative volume density of nerve fibres in antral and colonic muscularis propria. The number of myenteric ganglialmm baseline was significantly decreased in the duodenum of diabetic NOD mice, and showed a non-statistically significant tendency to decrease in pre-diabetic mice. In the antrum and colon, there was no difference between the controls and NOD mice regarding the number of ganglialmm baseline. Nor was there any significant difference between controls and NOD mice in the area of myenteric ganglia in either antrum, duodenum or colon. It is concluded that the changes in the duodenal myenteric plexus of NOD mice are prior to the onset of diabetes. It is suggested that the absence of changes in the antral and colonic myenteric plexus when using a general marker for neuroelements does not preclude a possible change in cholinergic, adrenergic or peptidergic innervation.