To compare the neuropeptide specificity of dystrophic axon formation in aging versus diabetic human sympathetic ganglia we have immunohisto-chemically characterized neuropeptide Y (NPY) and substance P containing intraganglionic nerve terminals. Prevertebral superior mesenteric but not paravertebral superior cervical ganglia developed markedly swollen NPY containing axonal termini with both aging and diabetes. Substance P containing nerve terminals failed to develop dystrophic changes. Selective loss of classes of nerve terminals may result in discrete functional sequellae.
- Neuroaxonal dystrophy
- Neuropeptide Y
- Sympathetic autonomic neuropathy