According to the earlier concept, the paraganglia of man are believed to degenerate during the first postnatal years after their dominance during the fetal period. Clinical case reports on persisting paraganglia led us to extensive exploration of surgical material obtained from urological and gynecological surgery. The formaldehyde induced fluorescence (FIF) was used for tracing the catecholamine containing tissues. The fluorescence intensities were recorded with a Lietz MPV 2 microspectrophotometer.
Solitary, small paraganglia were found in all patients studied. They were expecially frequent in the walls of the urinary bladder and in the connective tissue surrounding the urogenital organs. The intensity of the fluorescence was comparable to pharmacological standard of 10−2 M noradrenaline and at the same level as the FIF of human fetal paraganglia. All cells of the paraganglionic clusters exhibited FIF and no signs of degeneration could be observed.
It is suggested that the paraganglia of man do not degenerate postnatally but persist as a remarcable catecholamine reservoir, which might be of physiological importance.
KeywordsPublic Health Formaldehyde Fluorescence Intensity Connective Tissue Noradrenaline
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