Reduced sympathetic neurite outgrowth on uterine tissue sections from rats treated with estrogen.
ABSTRACT In order to evaluate the contribution of substrate-bound factors to the extent and patterning of the sympathetic innervation of rat uterus following estrogen treatment, superior cervical ganglion explants from neonatal and adult ovariectomized rats were cultured on tissue sections of fresh frozen uterus from adult ovariectomized rats treated with estrogen or a vehicle. The main findings were: (1) neurite growth was greatly influenced by histological features of the underlying section; (2) on myometrial sections, neurites followed the orientation of the main axis of the longitudinally sectioned muscle cells; (3) neurites showed limited growth on transversally sectioned smooth muscle; (4) neuritic patterning was unaffected by a reduction in migrating ganglionic non-neuronal cells; (5) neurite outgrowth, but not non-neural cell migration, was markedly reduced on myometrial sections from rats treated with estrogen. These results suggest that adult myometrium continues to provide signals allowing the organotypic patterning and growth of sympathetic axons, that estrogen treatment modifies myometrial substrate properties so that it is less supportive for sympathetic neurite growth, and that adult sympathetic neurons retain their ability to recognize substrate-bound cues present in the myometrium. On endometrial sections, neurites formed radially symmetric halos, which were reduced in size on estrogen-treated endometrial substrates. Thus, changes in the neuritogenic capacity of the uterus underlie plasticity in uterine sympathetic nerves, and alterations in substrate-bound factors contribute to the diminished receptivity of the estrogenized uterus to its sympathetic innervation.
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ABSTRACT: Location, distribution and density of nerve fibers immunoreactive to neuropeptide tyrosine, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and substance P were studied in the reproductive tract of the female rat and compared with acetylcholinesterase-positive ("cholinergic") and noradrenergic nerves. Plexuses of all types of fibers were present in the vagina, uterine cervix, uterine horn and oviduct. In the tubular reproductive organs all of these types of nerve fibers appeared to innervate vascular and non-vascular smooth muscle and nearly all types of fibers formed plexuses subjacent to the epithelium lining the organs. Individual fibers of all classes appeared to innervate fascicles of smooth muscle in the mesometrium of the uterine horn. A few acetylcholinesterase-positive and substance P-immunoreactive fibers were present in the ovary but no vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-immunoreactive nerves were observed. Noradrenergic and neuropeptide tyrosine-immunoreactive nerves were numerous in the ovary where they were seen in the interstitial gland tissue and associated with follicles and blood vessels. It is suggested that these nerves may influence hemodynamic events and non-vascular smooth muscle in such functions as transport of sperm and ova and parturition. Substance P-immunoreactive nerve fibers are likely to be sensory fibers that could have roles in neurohormonal reflexes.Cell and Tissue Research 02/1985; 242(3):475-90. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sympathetic nerves to the enlarged fetus-containing region of the uterus undergo degenerative changes during late pregnancy and show slow regrowth after parturition. It is not known whether this unusual response of sympathetic nerves to smooth muscle hypertrophy is due to the sensitivity of short adrenergic neurons to hormonal changes, or whether the nerves respond to changes in the neurotrophic capacity of the target. We have investigated this question using in oculo transplantation. Small pieces of myometrium from the uterine horn of virgin guinea pigs, or from the region previously occupied by the placenta and fetus in postpartum guinea pigs, were transplanted into the anterior eye chamber. After 3 wk in oculo, the pattern of reinnervation of the transplants was assessed on whole mount stretch preparations stained for tyrosine hydroxylase. The histology of the transplants was examined in toluidine blue-stained semithin sections. Myometrial transplants from virgin donors and uterine artery transplants from both virgin and postpartum donors became organotypically reinnervated by sympathetic fibres from the host iris. In contrast, sympathetic nerves did not reinnervate myometrial transplants from postpartum donors, although they approached the transplants and became distributed in the surrounding connective tissue. All transplanted tissues showed a normal histological appearance. Both the myometrium and uterine artery from postpartum donors retained a hypertrophic appearance after 3 wk in oculo. We interpret these results to indicate that the degeneration of sympathetic nerves in late pregnancy, as well as their slow regrowth to the uterus after delivery, may be due to changes in uterine smooth muscle rather than a particular sensitivity of short adrenergic neurons to hormonal changes.Journal of Anatomy 12/1998; 193 ( Pt 4):509-17. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Axons within the mature mammalian central nervous system fail to regenerate following injury, usually resulting in long-lasting motor and sensory deficits. Studies involving transplantation of adult neurons into white matter implicate glial scar-associated factors in regeneration failure. However, these studies cannot distinguish between the effects of these factors and disruption of the spatial organization of cells and molecular factors (disrupted geometry). Since white matter can support or inhibit neurite growth depending on the geometry of the fiber tract, the present study sought to determine whether disrupted geometry is sufficient to inhibit neurite growth. Embryonic chick sympathetic neurons were cultured on unfixed longitudinal cryostat sections of mature rat spinal cord or sciatic nerve that had been crushed with forceps ex vivo then immediately frozen to prevent glial scarring. Neurite growth on uncrushed portions of spinal cord white matter or sciatic nerve was extensive and highly parallel with the longitudinal axis of the fiber tract but did not extend onto crushed portions. Moreover, neurite growth from neurons attached directly to crushed white matter or nerve tissue was shorter and less parallel compared with neurite growth on uncrushed tissue. In contrast, neurite growth appeared to be unaffected by crushed spinal cord gray matter. These observations suggest that glial scar-associated factors are not necessary to block axonal growth at sites of injury. Disruption of fiber tract geometry, perhaps involving myelin-associated neurite-growth inhibitors, may be sufficient to pose a barrier to regenerating axons in spinal cord white matter and peripheral nerves.BMC Neuroscience 02/2001; 2:8. · 3.00 Impact Factor