Pregnancy and parturition in rats after sympathetic denervation of the ovary, oviduct and utero-tubal junction

P. J. Roche, H. C. Parkington, W. R. Gibson

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The ovarian vascular pedicle and ovarian suspensory ligament were briefly frozen to destroy the nerves. Examination of sections from the ovary, oviduct and utero-tubal junction by fluorescence histochemistry showed that they were usually devoid of adrenergic nerves. Measurement of noradrenaline in segments of the uterine horn by high-performance liquid chromatography showed that the transmitter was eliminated from the upper third but not the middle or lower thirds of the uterine horn. Unilateral or bilateral denervations at metoestrus in cyclic rats did not affect either the number of ovulations or the numbers or spacing of conceptuses at Day 7 of pregnancy. Bilateral denervations on Days 4, 7 or 11 of pregnancy did not affect ovarian weights or numbers of conceptuses observed 1 week later. Plasma progesterone concentrations were at least as high in the denervated groups as in the sham-operated control groups. After unilateral or bilateral denervations at Day 15, pregnancy continued normally and birth of normal young occurred, without apparent problems, at the same time as for sham-operated rats. The mothers tended their young and allowed them to suck. It is concluded that the adrenergic innervation of the ovary in the rat is not required for its normal function during pregnancy; that of the oviduct and mesosalpinx is not required for ovum pick-up or for transport of oocytes, spermatozoa or early embryos; and that of the utero-tubal junction is not required for uterine motility involved in embryo spacing and parturition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985

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