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Anat Cell Biol. 2014 Mar;47(1):55-65. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5115/acb.2014.47.1.55
Hinata N , Hieda K , Sasaki H , Murakami G , Abe S , Matsubara A , Miyake H , Fujisawa M .
Department of Urology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan. hinata@med.kobe-u.ac.jp
Department of Urology, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Hiroshima, Japan.
Division of Gynecology, Ishikawa Prefectural Central Hospital, Kanazawa, Japan.
Division of Internal Medicine, Iwamizawa Kojin-kai Hospital, Iwamizawa, Japan.
Department of Anatomy, Tokyo Dental College, Tokyo, Japan.
Abstract

Although the pelvic autonomic plexus may be considered a mixture of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, little information on its composite fibers is available. Using 10 donated elderly cadavers, we investigated in detail the topohistology of nerve fibers in the posterior part of the periprostatic region in males and the infero-anterior part of the paracolpium in females. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) were used as parasympathetic nerve markers, and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) was used as a marker of sympathetic nerves. In the region examined, nNOS-positive nerves (containing nNOS-positive fibers) were consistently predominant numerically. All fibers positive for these markers appeared to be thin, unmyelinated fibers. Accordingly, the pelvic plexus branches were classified into 5 types: triple-positive mixed nerves (nNOS+, VIP+, TH+, thick myelinated fibers + or -); double-positive mixed nerves (nNOS+, VIP-, TH+, thick myelinated fibers + or -); nerves in arterial walls (nNOS-, VIP+, TH+, thick myelinated fibers-); non-parasympathetic nerves (nNOS-, VIP-, TH+, thick myelinated fibers + or -); (although rare) pure sensory nerve candidates (nNOS-, VIP-, TH-, thick myelinated fibers+). Triple-positive nerves were 5-6 times more numerous in the paracolpium than in the periprostatic region. Usually, the parasympathetic nerve fibers did not occupy a specific site in a nerve, and were intermingled with sympathetic fibers. This morphology might be the result of an "incidentally" adopted nerve fiber route, rather than a target-specific pathway.

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