Light and electron microscopic localization of acetylcholinesterase activity in the rat renal nerves


  • Supported by U.S.P.H.S. Grant HE 11114 from the National Heart and Lung Institute and by a grant from the Professional Staff Association, Harbor General Hospital.


Acetylcholinesterase activity is shown in the renal nerves of the rat with the technique of Karnovsky and Roots. By light microscopy, the acetylcholinesterase-positive nerves are seen in association with blood vessels, including the glomerular arterioles, and occasionally with renal tubules. By electron microscopy the precipitate appears extracellularly around axons and varicosities. DFP inhibits the deposition of precipitate. Previous demonstration by serial section electron microscopy in the rat revealed that all nerves around the glomerular arterioles contain small dense-cored vesicles characteristic of adrenergic nerves, indicating that the acetylcholinesterase-positive nerves demonstrated here are likely to be adrenergic nerves containing acetylcholinesterase.