Anatomical description of the periprostatic nerves in the male rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta)
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- Ganzer, R., Neuhaus, J., Gratzke, C. et al. World J Urol (2011) 29: 375. doi:10.1007/s00345-009-0473-2
Recent publications have revealed a variable course of the periprostatic nerves in humans. It is unclear to what extent nerves outside the dorsolateral region of the prostate are involved in the physiology of erectile function. As functional studies in humans are limited by ethical aspects investigations in animal models could provide further insight. The intention of this study was to give a detailed description of the topographical anatomy of autonomic nerves along the seminal vesicles and the prostate in male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to investigate its suitability as an animal model for future physiological studies.
Wholemount serial sections of pelvic organ blocks of ten male rhesus monkeys were investigated. Autonomic nerves were stained with an antibody against S100.
Autonomic nerves were dispersed along the dorsolateral to the ventrolateral aspect of the capsule of the prostate within a layer of connective tissue. There was no accumulation of vessels and nerves in the dorsolateral position of the prostate. The prostate is located dorsally to the urethra and does not encircle it. No adjacent nerves were found in the cranial two-thirds of the seminal vesicles.
The male rhesus monkey is limited suitable as an animal model for studies on the periprostatic nerves provided the following differences to humans are considered: the special topography of the prostate, the nerve course along the seminal vesicles and the missing nerve accumulation dorsolaterally to the prostate.