Histochemical localization of NADPH-diaphorase in neurons of the pheasant ileum
Localization patterns of NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurons in the pheasant ileum were investigated using an enzyme histochemical method. NADPH-diaphorase activity in the pheasant ileum was demonstrated in neuronal cells bodies and nerve fibres. The NADPH-diaphorase-positive nerve cells showed a polygonal shape and were present solitary or arranged in groups in the submucosal and muscular layers. Nerve fibres penetrated the wall of the ileum at its serosal surface, frequently in the vicinity of ileal arterial branches. They were abundantly present in muscular and submucosal layers of the ileum forming thicker nerves. Some nerve fibres traversed the submucosa into the lamina propria mucosae to form dense nerve plexuses. Fine nerve fibres were found to penetrate into intestinal villi encompassing the crypts underneath the epithelium. We conclude that the pheasant ileum is characterized by abundance of NADPH-diaphorase-positive nerve structures which may play a significant functional role in the small intestine of the pheasant.