The neuronal growth-associated protein (GAP-43) is widely expressed during embryonic growth and axonal regeneration and has been thought to contribute to synaptic plasticity in adult animals. In contrast to the exclusively presynaptic pattern of GAP-43 immunoreactivity in sympathetic ganglia, GAP-43 intensely and selectively labeled the noradrenergic subpopulation of adult rat adrenal medullary chromaffin cell bodies, a pattern which persisted with adrenal denervation. Adjacent adrenergic islands containing neuropeptide Y and phenylethanolamine-N-methyl transferase immunoreactivity failed to express GAP-43. The immunohistochemical appearance of GAP-43 was qualitatively unchanged in the adrenal medulla of aged and diabetic rats, conditions in which the sympathoadrenal axis is thought to be dysfunctional.
- Adrenal medulla
- Growth-associated protein-43
- Neuropeptide Y
- Phenylethanolamine N-methyl transferase
- Synaptic plasticity