Postnatal development of sympathetic and sensory innervation of the rhesus monkey ovary. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have used immunofluorescence to study the postnatal development of the sympathetic and sensory innervation to the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) ovary. Sympathetic nerves were identified as adrenergic by their content of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-like immunoreactivity and as peptidergic by the presence of neuropeptide Y (NPY). Fibers containing substance P (SP) or calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-like immunoreactivity were considered as sensory, whereas vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-positive fibers were only defined as peptidergic because VIP may be present in both sympathetic and sensory nerves. Ovaries from neonatal (2-mo-old), juvenile (9-18-mo-old), peripubertal (3-3.5-yr-old), adult (9-14-yr-old), and senescent (20-27-yr-old) monkeys were studied. At all ages, with the exception of senescence, TH-, NPY-, and VIP-containing fibers were associated with follicles in different developmental stages. In peripubertal and adult animals, some primordial follicles were found to be selectively innervated by VIPergic fibers that almost completely encircled each follicle. Both sympathetic and VIP fibers were also detected in the interstitial tissue and associated with the ovarian vasculature at all ages. The number of sympathetic and VIP fibers increased significantly (p < 0.01) between 2 mo and 9-18 mo of age, and again increased (p < 0.01) around the age of puberty (approximately 3 yr of age). After this time, the number of NPY and TH fibers remained constant. Conversely, the number of VIP fibers decreased (p < 0.05) by 9-14 yr of age, but remained constant thereafter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • Biol Reprod

author list (cited authors)

  • Schultea, T. D., Dees, W. L., & Ojeda, S. R.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Schultea, TD||Dees, WL||Ojeda, SR

publication date

  • November 1992