Application Notes

Macroscopic target search and high-resolution 3D imaging of gastric afferent nerve endings showing various shapes using a confocal microscope and

March 2023

Afferent nerve endings in the gastric wall have various morphologies to detect the mechanical stimuli of the gastric wall associated with peristalsis. Dr. Tomoyuki Saino, Dr. Takuya Yokoyama, and Dr. Masato Hirakawa at the Department of Anatomy (Cell Biology), Iwate Medical University have reported that web-like vagal afferent nerve endings express P2X3 purinoceptors and are distributed in the subserosal tissue in the lesser curvature of the gastric antrum. Web-like nerve endings are distributed lateral to the gastric sling muscles in the antral lesser curvature. Morphologically, web-like nerve endings may be a subtype of vagal mechanoreceptors that detect mechanical deformation of the antral wall associated with peristalsis. They have also reported that web-like nerve endings form basket-like terminal structures wrapping around the subserosal ganglia. It has been suggested that basket-like nerve endings may be specialized ending structures that increase the sensitivity of the web-like nerve endings to antral peristalsis.

In this application note, we introduce examples of afferent nerve endings in the stomach exhibiting various shapes, captured using an AX R confocal microscope and a silicon immersion objective.