Peptidergic hormones and neuropeptides, and aminergic neurotransmitters of the pancreatic islets of the Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata)

E. P.K. Mensah-Brown, T. A. Bailey, D. J. Pallot, A. Garner

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Immunoreactivity to insulin (Ins), somatostatin (Som), glucagon (Glu) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) was found in 70%, 22%, 15% and 11% respectively of Houbara pancreatic endocrine islet cells. Whilst Ins occurred centrally and SOM was observed both in peripherally and centrally located islets, the other hormones were localised in peripheral islet cells; Som was also observed in neuronal cell bodies and nerve fibres. In addition, the islet cells contained substance P (SP) (65%) in the centre and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) (2%) at the periphery. Immunoreactivity to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), VIP and galanin (Gal) occurred in the walls of blood vessels located mainly at the periphery of islets. Occasionally, VIP and Gal immunoreactive varicose nerve terminals and ChAT immunoreactive cell bodies were also observed in the centre of islets. SP neuronal cell bodies were not observed but prominent SP immunoreactive varicose terminals were discernible in capillary walls within the islets. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) immunoreactive neurons were detected in neuronal cell bodies located mainly peripherally. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) immunoreactivity occurred in neuronal cell bodies and nerve fibres mainly at the periphery and also in centrally located islet endocrine cells. Immunoreactivity to tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was similar in distribution to that of ChAT. In comparison with other avian species, the islets of the dorsal pancreatic lobe of the bustard contain all the peptidergic hormones normally present in the islets of other avian species, but are not segregated into dark A and light B cells. Many of the insulin containing cells also contained SP. The islets also contained several neuropeptides which are probably involved in their regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000


  • Endocrine cells
  • Innervation
  • Pancreatic islets
  • Varicosities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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