Schwann cells in rat vascular autonomic nerves activated via purinergic receptors

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Schwann cells at the somatic neuromuscular junction possess adenosine receptors that when activated by the release of endogenous transmitter modulate quantal transmitter release. Recently, purinergic receptors have been shown to exist on Schwann cells of axon varicosities in visceral smooth muscle where they are activated by endogenous transmitters to give a calcium transient, although adenosine receptors were not identified. In the present work, we show that Schwann cells associated with axon varicosities of vascular smooth muscle, namely that of mesenteric blood vessels, possess both adenosine and purinergic receptors that when activated give rise to calcium transients in these cells. Then qualitative differences exist in the extent of adenosine and purine receptors that give rise to calcium transients in Schwann cells located in these different muscles.

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