Rao,M.S., Jaszczak,E., and, Landis,S.C.
Innervation of footpads of normal and mutant mice lacking sweat glands.
Journal of Comparative Neurology 346(4):613-625 (1994).
Footpads of normal adult mice are innervated by sympathetic and sensory fibers. The sympathetic fibers associated with sweat glands contain acetylcholinesterase and immunoreactivity for vasoactive intestinal peptide. Although catecholamine histofluorescence is absent, the gland innervation exhibits immunoreactivity for tyrosine hydroxylase. A distinct population of sympathetic fibers, which possess catecholamines and neuropeptide Y as well as tyrosinehydroxylase immunoreactivity, innervates blood vessels. Sensory fibers containing immunoreactivity for substance P and calcitonin gene- related peptide course beneath the epidermis and some form endings in it. Treatment of neonatal mice with the adrenergic neurotoxin, 6- hydroxydopamine, results in loss of sympathetic innervation of sweat glands and blood vessels, permits growth of sensory axons into sweat glands, but does not alter the peptidergic sensory innervation of the dermis and epidermis. Three mouse mutations, Tabby (Ta), crinkled (cr), and downless (dl), disrupt the interactions between the mesenchyme and epidermis that are required for normal development of specific epidermal derivatives, including sweat glands. The sympathetic innervation of blood vessels and sensory innervation of footpad skin of the three mutant mice that lack sweat glands is indistinguishable from normal. The sympathetic fibers that normally innervate sweat glands, however, are not present. These results indicate that in the absence of their normal target, the sympathetic fibers that innervate sweat glands are lacking. Furthermore, they suggest that, although sensory fibers may sprout into sympathetic targets in the footpad, the domains occupied by sensory fibers are not normally accessible to sympathetic axons.

Last edited 10.12.2004 by P.N.