The submandibular ganglion (SMG) contains parasympathetic neurons which innervate the submandibular gland. In this study, immunohistochemistry for vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V members 1 (TRPV1) and 2 (TRPV2) was performed on the human SMG. In the SMG, 17.5 % and 8.9 % of parasympathetic neurons were immunoreactive for VIP and TRPV2, respectively. SMG neurons mostly contained ChAT- and DBH-immunoreactivity. In addition, subpopulations of SMG neurons were surrounded by VIP (69.6 %)-, TRPV2 (54.4 %)- and DBH (9.5 %)-immunoreactive (-ir) nerve fibers. SMG neurons with pericellular VIP- and TRPV2-ir nerve fibers were significantly larger than VIP- and TRPV2-ir SMG neurons, respectively. Other neurochemical substances were rare in the SMG. In the human submandibular gland, TRPV1- and TRPV2-ir nerve fiber profiles were seen around blood vessels. Double fluorescence method also demonstrated that TRPV2-ir nerve fiber profiles were located around myoepithelial and acinar cells in the submandibular gland. VIP and TRPV2 are probably expressed by both pre- and post-ganglionic neurons innervating the submandibular and sublingual glands. VIP, DBH and TRPV2 may have functions about regulation of salivary components in the salivary glands and neuronal activity in the SMG.
- Submandibular ganglion