The adrenergic nervous system of the domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus (L.))

  • Terence Bennett
  • Torbjörn Malmfors


The adrenergic nervous system of the domestic fowl has been investigated using the Falck-Hillarp technique for the localisation of biogenic amines. The predominating catecholamine in adrenergic nerves is noradrenaline. In the fowl, adrenergic nerves are more widely distributed than in mammals, although comparable in appearance; clumps of adrenergic ganglion cells are present throughout the viscera, particularly in the abdomen. The heart and arterial vasculature has an adrenergic innervation comparable to that seen in mammals, but the veins are frequently more densely innervated, suggesting that they may play a more active role in the regional distribution of blood and in venous return than in mammals. The respiratory system of birds shows certain peculiarities and these are reflected in the adrenergic innervation of this system. The density of the adrenergic innervation of the genital organs is dependent on age; in males the innervation of the genital ducts only shows a marked development at sexual maturity, but in females it appears to be established before hatching. These findings are discussed in terms of the function of adrenergic nerves in the different situations.


Noradrenaline Fluorescence Bird Adrenergic Nerves Histochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terence Bennett
    • 1
  • Torbjörn Malmfors
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneAustralia

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