Enteric nervous plexuses have been the object of several studies, specially the myenteric plexus whose studies describe its organization, functions and alterations. On the other hand, the submucosal plexus has been less studied and still needs descriptive studies. To analyze morphologically and quantitatively submucosal neurons of the jejunum of 90-day-old healthy rats using different techniques for neuronal staining as a way to provide normality data to compare with future experimental studies. Whole mount preparations of the jejunum were submitted to Giemsa, NADH-diaphorase and NADPH-diaphorase techniques to stain the total neuronal population, more metabolically active subpopulation and subpopulation of nitrergic neurons, respectively. Neurons of the submucosal plexus of adult rats are mainly organized in ganglia with varied sized and shapes. Giemsa technique stained 243.93 ± 7.68 neurons per mm2. Regarding the total population stained by Giemsa, NADH- diaphorase positive (139.09 ± 11.14/mm2) neurons represented 57 % and NADPH-diaphorase positive (18.17 ± 0.28/mm2) represented 7.5 %. The area of the cell body was bigger in nitrergic neurons (412.29 ± 150.22) than in the ones stained by Giemsa (254.71 ± 63.32) and NADH-diaphorase positive (243.98 ± 123.82).
KEY WORDS: Enteric nervous system, Meissner’s plexus; Giemsa, NADH-diaphorase, NADPH-diaphorase.