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Acetylcholinesterase-positive nerves of the rhesus monkey bronchial tree.
  1. A W El-Bermani,
  2. M Grant


    The rhesus monkey lung was stained both by histological methods and histochemically for specific acetylcholinesterase (AChE). AChE-containing nerves in bundles were demonstrated in connective tissue of the hilum and in association with clusters of ganglion cells. These bundles become associated with the bronchial tree as they enter the lung parenchyma, and their numbers of myelinated fibres diminish as they pass scattered ganglion cells along the bronchial system. Extrachondral and subchondral plexuses of nerves were found to be interconnected and to contribute to the perimuscular varicose nerve plexus of the bronchi and bronchioles. These nerve plexuses were found to extend as far as the respiratory bronchioles. In the bronchial submucosa there are AChE-positive nerve plexuses which arise from three sources: (1) the adventitial plexus in bronchioles, or the subchondral plexus in bronchi, (2) the perimuscular nerve plexus, and (3) AChe-containing nerves associated with the bronchial artery. The submucosal plexus appears to innervate the acinar submucosal glands in bronchi as well as continuing as central nerves in the mucosal folds. In the bronchioles the nerves in the mucosal fold are in close relationship with the mucosa.

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