Reinnervation of Müller's smooth muscle by atypical sympathetic pathways following neonatal ganglionectomy in the rat: structural and functional investigations of enhanced neuroplasticity.

Journal Article

Müller's extraocular smooth muscle is reinnervated by sympathetic nerves following denervation by ipsilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy in neonates but not in older animals. Experiments were performed to determine: (1) the source and extent of reinnervation, (2) the role of impulse activity in sympathetic outgrowth and (3) the effects of reinnervation on smooth muscle maturation. Müller's muscles were evaluated structurally (muscle volume, catecholamine histochemistry, retrograde labeling of sympathetic neurons) and functionally (contractile responses to electrical stimulation of postganglionic innervation and adrenoceptor agonist) in control preparations and in muscles following neonatal ipsilateral superior ganglionectomy, ipsilateral decentralization, ipsilateral superior ganglionectomy combined with contralateral decentralization of chemical (guanethidine) sympathectomy. Fluorescent tracer injections of muscles in adult control rats labeled cells in the ipsilateral superior (98%) and middle cervical ganglia. Acute ipsilateral superior ganglionectomy produced complete degeneration of sympathetic innervation of Müller's muscle in neonatal and adult rats. In preparations denervated neonatally and maintained chronically, muscles were reinnervated by neurons in both the contralateral superior and ipsilateral middle cervical ganglia. The total number of neurons reinnervating the muscle was one half that of controls. Sectional density of innervation was 45% of control. Electrical stimulation of postganglionic axons in the contralateral pathway produced muscle contractions with a prolonged time course. Reinnervation alleviated, in part, deficits in muscle volume and contraction which occurred following sustained denervation by chemical sympathectomy. Decentralization decreased ipsilateral muscle volume but did not affect numbers of neurons projecting to or nerve density within the muscle. Stimulation frequencies required to produce a 50% maximum contraction were reduced in these preparations. Decentralization of the contralateral ganglion did not impede sprouting into the denervated muscle, as nerve density and number of labeled cells were comparable to muscles reinnervated by contralateral ganglia with intact preganglionic innervation. However, maximum contraction to electrical stimulation was reduced. Comparisons with ipsilaterally decentralized muscles revealed that increased stimulation frequencies were required for 50% maximum contraction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, PG; Bruckert, JW; Mills, E

Published Date

  • November 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 781 - 793

PubMed ID

  • 3437987

Pubmed Central ID

  • 3437987

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0306-4522

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0306-4522(87)90095-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States