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Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 555–563 | Cite as

Age-related changes in the morphology of preganglionic neurons projecting to the rat hypogastric ganglion

  • M. A. Dering
  • R. M. Santer
  • A. H. D. Watson
Article

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate age-related changes in preganglionic neurons of the lumbar and sacral spinal cord of the male rat that may underlie impaired control of the urogenital system in old age. Preganglionic sympathetic and parasympathetic neurons of 4- and 24-month-old rats were identified by retrograde axonal tracing with cholera toxin subunit-B followed by immunocytochemistry. Labelled preganglionic neurons were scanned on the confocal microscope. Measurements were made of soma area, number of primary dendrites, number of dendritic branch points and total dendritic length. there were significant decreases in the number of dendritic branch points and total dendritic length of sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the aged rats compared to the adult group. The soma area and number of primary dendrites were not significantly different. Some cells exhibited signs of degeneration, such as swelling of the soma and distension of the proximal part of primary dendrites. No significant differences were found in any of the parameters measured for the parasympathetic neurons. The changes in dendritic morphology of sympathetic preganglionic neurons may reflect altered central and peripheral control of pelvic viscera in old age.

Keywords

Cholera Cholera Toxin Adult Group Primary Dendrite Dendritic Morphology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Dering
    • 1
  • R. M. Santer
    • 1
  • A. H. D. Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomy Unit, School of Molecular and Medical BiosciencesUniversity of WalesCardiffUK

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