Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 997–1001 | Cite as

Postnatal development of the mucosal plexus in the porcine small and large intestine

  • Thambipillai Sri Paran
  • Udo Rolle
  • Prem Puri
Original Article


Knowledge regarding the foetal and postnatal development of the enteric nervous system is crucial for the understanding of congenital disorders. While lot of information exists regarding the myenteric and submucosal plexuses, the development of the mucosal plexus has not been previously studied. The mucosal innervation seems to play an important role in the local reflex activity of the gut. In this study, we examined the development of enteric mucosal innervation in the pig at various ages of life. Small and large bowel paraffin-embedded specimens were stained with PGP 9.5 and neurofilament protein in three piglets from six age groups (60 and 90 days gestation, newborn, 4 and 12 weeks old, and adult pigs). Small and large bowel demonstrated identical innervation patterns. Myenteric and submucosal plexuses were stained with PGP 9.5 at 60 days gestation. However, the mucosal staining was first noted clearly at the newborn period. By 4 weeks, PGP 9.5 staining was noted in small amounts within the mucosa. Inner proprial and villous fibres were seen ahead in time to the subepithelial fibres. Both inner proprial and villous staining became quiet prominent by 12 weeks of age and remained unchanged into adulthood. However, the subepithelial fibres appear to increase in adulthood. This study demonstrates for the first time that enteric mucosal innervation first appears only at birth. The immaturity of the mucosa generated reflex activity, and secretory functions may have implication in the management of functional intestinal obstruction in the premature infant.


Mucosal innervation Age-related Porcine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thambipillai Sri Paran
    • 1
  • Udo Rolle
    • 1
    • 2
  • Prem Puri
    • 1
  1. 1.Children’s Research CentreOur Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, CrumlinDublin 12Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Paediatric SurgeryUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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