First study on the peptidergic innervation of the brain superior sagittal sinus in humans

Simone Sampaolo, Giovanna Liguori, Alfredo Vittoria, Filomena Napolitano, Luca Lombardi, Javier Figols, Mariarosa Anna Beatrice Melone, Teresa Esposito, Giuseppe Di Iorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The superior sagittal sinus (SSS) of the mammalian brain is a pain-sensitive intracranial vessel thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of migraine headaches. Here, we aimed to investigate the presence and the potential co-localization of some neurotransmitters in the human SSS. Immunohistochemical and double-labeling immunofluorescence analyses were applied to paraformaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded, coronal sections of the SSS. Protein extraction and Western blotting technique were performed on the same material to confirm the morphological data. Our results showed nerve fibers clustered mainly in large bundles tracking parallel to the longitudinal axis of the sinus, close in proximity to the vascular endothelium. Smaller fascicles of fibers encircled the vascular lumen in a spiral fashion, extending through the subendothelial connective tissue. Isolated nerve fibers were observed around the openings of bridging veins in the sinus or around small vessels extending into the perisinusal dura. The neurotransmitters calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and neuropeptide Y (NPY) were found in parietal nerve structures, distributed all along the length of the SSS. Overall, CGRP- and TH-containing nerve fibers were the most abundant. Neurotransmitters co-localized in the same fibers in the following pairs: CGRP/SP, CGRP/NOS, CGRP/VIP, and TH/NPY. Western blotting analysis confirmed the presence of such neurosubstances in the SSS wall. Overall our data provide the first evidence of the presence and co-localization of critical neurotransmitters in the SSS of the human brain, thus contributing to a better understanding of the sinus functional role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalNeuropeptides
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Double-labeling immunofluorescence
  • Human brain
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurotransmitter co-localization
  • Superior sagittal sinus innervation
  • Western blotting analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Sampaolo, S., Liguori, G., Vittoria, A., Napolitano, F., Lombardi, L., Figols, J., Melone, M. A. B., Esposito, T., & Di Iorio, G. (2017). First study on the peptidergic innervation of the brain superior sagittal sinus in humans. Neuropeptides, 65, 45-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.npep.2017.04.008