In this study we employed retrograde axonal transport of (E)-2,2′-vinylendi-benzofuran-5-carboxamidin-diaceturate or true blue (TB) to study the peripheral autonomic innervation of the canine nasal mucosa. After injection of TB into the nasal mucosa, labeled neurons were found in the ipsilateral sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) and the superior cervical ganglion (SCG). There were no labeled neurons in the middle cervical or stellate ganglia. This indicated that the origin of the postganglionic sympathetic fibers of the nasal mucosa was only from the ipsilateral SCG. When TB was injected into the nasal mucosa of dogs following a caudal or ethmoidal neurectomy, labeled neurons could still be found in the SPG and SCG. When TB was injected into the nasal mucosa of dogs following ethmoidal and vidian neurectomies or with maxillary neurectomy added, some labeled neurons could still be found in both the ipsilateral SPG and SCG. These results support the concept that another pathway - perhaps perivascular - exists for postganglionic sympathetic fibers other than the vidian and ethmoidal nerves. Labeled neurons were still observed in SPG when TB was applied to the canine nasal mucosa following neurectomy of either the ethmoidal or the caudal nasal nerve. However, retrograde labeled neurons could not be found in SPG following simultaneous neurectomies of the ethmoidal and caudal nasal nerves. These results show that the postganglionic parasympathetic fibers originating in the SPG travel along the ethmoidal and caudal nasal nerves.
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