• cranial nerves;
  • acetylcholine;
  • calcitonin gene related peptide;
  • colocalization


The demonstration of coexistence of a peptide or peptides in neurons that produce a small molecule neurotransmitter has become increasingly frequent. The calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is known to be colocalized in the cholinergic neurons of both cranial and spinal motor nuclei. The present study demonstrates that all somatic motor cranial nerve nuclei contain CGRP-and galaninlike immunoreactivity. The perikaryal content of both peptides is increased by colchicine pretreatment and by transecting axons arising from the perikarya, and both peptides are found in nerve fibers innervating striated musculature. CGRP- and galaninlike immunoreactivity appear to be present in different populations of neurons. In contrast to CGRP, galaninlike immunoreactivity was not detected in spinal motor neurons. These observations suggest that galanin and CGRP participate in the process of synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction of cranial motor neurons.