Differentiation of sympathetic neurones projecting in the hypogastric nerves in terms of their discharge patterns in cats.

Academic Article


  • 1. Sympathetic neurones that project in the hypogastric nerves (HGNs) were analysed for their discharge patterns in anaesthetized cats. The activity of these neurones was recorded from their axons. Afferents from the pelvic organs (urinary bladder, colon, anal canal), and arterial baro‐and chemoreceptors were stimulated. 150 postganglionic and nine preganglionic neurones were analysed. 2. The postganglionic neurones exhibited reflex patterns that were typical of visceral vasoconstrictor neurones and various types of motility‐regulating neurones. Most motility‐regulating neurones and all visceral vasoconstrictor neurones had ongoing activity. 3. Postganglionic motility‐regulating neurones were not influenced by stimulation of arterial baro‐and chemoreceptors, but showed distinctive reflexes on stimulation of afferents from pelvic organs. Three subgroups of motility‐regulating neurones were identified: type 1 neurones (34% of the sample of postganglionic neurones) were excited from the urinary bladder and inhibited or not influenced from the colon. Type 2 neurones (14%) exhibited a reflex pattern reciprocal to that of the type 1 neurones. Anal motility‐regulating neurones (8%) were only influenced from the anal canal. The most powerful reflexes in these types of motility‐regulating neurones were elicited by mechanical stimulation of the anal mucosa. 4. Postganglionic visceral vasoconstrictor neurones (16% of the sample) were under powerful inhibitory control from the arterial baroreceptors and weakly excited by stimulation of arterial chemoreceptors. Visceral stimuli had little or no effect on most of these neurones. Some visceral vasoconstrictor neurones exhibited some overlap in their functional properties with motility‐regulating neurones. 5. Twenty‐eight per cent of our sample of postganglionic neurones showed no reflexes to the afferent stimuli used. About half of these neurones had on‐going activity. 6. Nine preganglionic neurones with on‐going activity were identified. Most of these neurones behaved like visceral vasoconstrictor or motility‐regulating neurones. 7. This study shows that the majority of postganglionic neurones that project in the HGNs can be divided into the same functional types as the lumbar preganglionic neurones that project to the inferior mesenteric ganglion. The proportions of the different types of neurones are similar at pre‐ and postganglionic levels. Thus the centrally generated patterns of activity are most likely faithfully transmitted from the spinal cord to the target organs in the pelvic cavity in functionally separate pathways. © 1991 The Physiological Society
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    Author List

  • Jänig W; Schmidt M; Schnitzler A; Wesselmann U
  • Start Page

  • 157
  • End Page

  • 179
  • Volume

  • 437
  • Issue

  • 1