Calbindin-D28k, one of the calcium-binding proteins, belongs to the EF hand family and is commonly found in neurons. It serves as a representative neuronal marker for neuroanatomical investigations. The authors' knowledge of its precise function, however, is yet very limited. In this study, we examined the existence of nerve fibers with calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity in the cerebral blood vessels and ganglia that innervate the cerebral blood vessels in the rat. Numerous nerve fibers with calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity were observed on the walls of the major extracerebral arteries forming the circle of Willis and its branches. Calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity was seen in many neurons of the trigeminal, dorsal root and jugular ganglia. A small number of neurons showed calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity in the otic and superior cervical ganglia. Calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity was not detected in the sphenopalatine or internal carotid ganglia. Pericellular basket-like formations of nerve terminals with calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity were observed in the sphenopalatine, otic, internal carotid and superior cervical ganglia. The present study demonstrated calbindin-D28k immunoreactivity in the cerebrovascular nerve fibers as well as in their origins - the cranial ganglia. These findings are significant in understanding the calcium-mediated mechanism of the neural control of the cerebral blood vessels. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
ASJC Scopus subject areas