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The presence and distribution of cells positive to orexin A (OXA) and to orexin type 2 receptor (OX2R) were investigated in the gastrointestinal tract of neonatal dogs by means of immunohistochemical techniques. The orexin A-positive cells were identified with some of the endocrine cells in the stomach and in the duodenum; they were both of the open and closed type and were lacking in the large intestine. In the stomach, a large subset of orexin A-positive cells also showed gastrin-like immunoreactivity while, in the duodenum, many of them seemed to store serotonin. The orexin type 2 receptor-positive cells were evidenced all along the gastrointestinal tract examined, also in the large intestine, and they showed the same morphological characteristics as those positive to orexin A. Moreover, the immunohistochemical techniques revealed intense positivity for both orexin A and orexin type 2 receptor in the neurons and fibers of the enteric nervous system. A large subset of orexin A-positive neurons seemed to store substance P.
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