Moderated Poster

Poster, Podium & Video Sessions

MP42-16: Innervation of genitourinary structures: a neuronal tracing study in female dogs

Saturday, May 13
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: BCEC: Room 160

Presentation Authors: Mary F. Barbe*, Sandra M. Gomez-Amaya, Philadelphia, PA, Neil S. Lamarre, Madison, WI, Danielle M Salvadeo, Michael Mazzei, Alan S. Braverman, Michael Ruggieri, Philadelphia, PA

Introduction: Many studies focus on afferent or efferent inputs (but not both), or on one structure of the genitourinary system. Only a few studies include information on inputs from sympathetic chain ganglia (SCG), and even fewer have examined the possibility of direct motor (autonomic or somatic) inputs from spinal cord ventral horns to genitourinary end organs. We sought to clarify origins of afferent and efferent information conveyed between the spinal cord, peripheral nervous system ganglia and genitourinary structures using retrograde and anterograde neurotracing dyes.

Methods: Dyes were injected into the bladder wall, external urethral sphincter (EUS) and clitoris of 14 female mongrel dogs (Fluorogold, True blue, or Nuclear Yellow). Dorsal root ganglia (DRG), SCG, caudal mesenteric ganglion (CMG), pelvic plexus ganglia and spinal cord ventral horns were examined for dye-labeled neuronal cell bodies. Detrusor muscle intramural ganglia were examined by injecting DiI into the pelvic nerve’s anterior vesicle branch.

Results: Retrograde labeled cells were observed in several DRGs, representative of afferent input from the bladder, EUS and clitoris (Table). Anterograde labeling revealed intramural ganglia in the bladder wall. Sympathetic efferents included: 1) labeled cells in the CMG primarily from the bladder, yet small numbers from the EUS and clitoris; 2) labeled cells in SCG primarily from the bladder (widespread) and more localized input from EUS and clitoris (Table); and 3) labeled cells in the intermediolateral cell column of thoracolumbar cord segments directly to the bladder and clitoris, a locale typically considered as sympathetic. Parasympathetic efferents included: 1) labeled neurons in pelvic plexus ganglia in bladder mesenteries; and 2) cells in lamina VII of sacral cord segments directly to the bladder and clitoris, a locale typically considered as sympathetic. Lastly, somatic (skeletal muscle) efferents to the EUS were evident as retrogradely labeled cells in sacral lamina IX cells.

Conclusions: Afferent and efferent inputs to genitourinary structures are complex, yet a clear knowledge is needed to understand dysfunction after spinal cord injury and mechanisms underlying chronic pain syndromes in this region.

Source Of Funding: NIH-NINDS NS070267

Mary F. Barbe, PhD

Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Mary F Barbe, PhD, is a Full Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Larry Katz School of Medicine of Temple University. She has a Ph.D. from from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she was trained as a neuroscientist with a broad background in neuroanatomical and musculoskeletal biology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, where she studied developmental neuroplasticity. Out of a total of her 142 peer-reviewed publications, many are focused on nerve, brain and spinal cord neuroplasticity or neurodegeneration. One current goal of her lab is to examine inflammation-induced neuroplasticity in the brain and spinal cord occurring as a consequence of repetitive overuse, and sensorimotor changes induced with overuse, with a focus on means to treat these changes using anti-inflammatory drugs. Another focus is restoration of sensorimotor function of the bladder and external urethra sphincters after decentralization using nerve transfer techniques. She is currently funded by NIH-NIAMS, NIH-NCCIH, and NIH-NINDS for these projects. She is also funded with colleagues at Tuft’s to study Characterization of Rapidly Progressive Knee Osteoarthritis, and is a core-director of the Basic Science Core II of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Core Center at Temple University (funded by NIH-NIMH). She is an Associate Editor of BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and frequently reviews grants for NIH and Foundation study sections.

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