Using the viral transneuronal tracing technique cell groups of the spinal cord and brain transsynaptically connected with the ductus deferens were identified. Neurotropic (pseudorabies) virus was injected into the muscular coat of the ductus deferens and after survival times of 3, 4 and 5 days the spinal cord and brain were processed immunocytochemically. Virus-labelled neurones could be detected in the preganglionic sympathetic neurones and the dorsal commissural nucleus (upper lumbar segments) and in the sacral parasympathetic nucleus (L6-S1). Virus-infected perikarya were present in several brain stem nuclei including the gigantocellular and paragigantocellular nucleus, the lateral reticular nucleus, the nucleus of the solitary tract, the caudal raphe nuclei, the A1/C1, A2, A5 and A7 noradrenergic cell groups and the locus coeruleus. In the hypothalamus significant numbers of virus-infected neurones could be detected in the paraventricular nucleus. In most cases moderate numbers of virus-labelled cells were present in the lateral hypothalamic area, in the retrochiasmatic area, in the periventricular region and in the median preoptic area. Double-labelling immunofluorescence detection of virus-infected neurones and thyrosine hydroxylase (TH) showed colocalization of virus protein and TH in portion of neurones of the A1/C1, A2, A5 and A7 noradrenergic cell groups, in the locus coeruleus and in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. The present results provide the first morphological data on the multisynaptic circuit of neurones innervating the ductus deferens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine