Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The ontogenetic development of the guinea pig uterine autonomic innervation was studied immunohistochemically using neurofibrillary protein (NF) and neuron specific enolase (NSE) as general neuronal markers, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) as specific markers for adrenergic innervation and S-100 protein as marker for Schwann cell structure and/or function. In addition, comparisons were made of the development of the different populations of peptide-containing nerves. The structure and time of appearance were similar for nerves with NF-, NSE-, TH- and DBH-immunoreactivities, which were first present in the organ periphery as coarse nerve trunks, then extending centrally and branching into non-varicose nerves. From these, varicose nerves developed first in relation to vessels and then in association with the myometrial smooth musculature. Development was completed carlier in the cervix than in the uterine horns suggesting differences in local environment. In comparison, S-100 nerve-immunoreactivity appeared later but attained complete development more rapidly than axonal structures. Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive nerves showed a similar developmental pattern to presumed adrenergic nerves, further verifying the assumption of intraneuronal localization of NPY in uterine adrenergic nerves. Other peptide-containing nerves were developed later probably reflecting differences in neuronal growth properties.
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