Reduction of the Number of Neurones in the Caudal Mesenteric Ganglion Innervating the Ovary in Sexually Mature Gilts Following Testosterone Administration

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The effect of testosterone on the morphological and chemical plasticity of the porcine caudal mesenteric ganglion (CaMG) ovary-projecting neurones was investigated. To identify the neurones on day 3 of the oestrous cycle, the ovaries of both the control and experimental gilts were injected with Fast Blue retrograde neuronal tracer. From next day until day 20 of the anticipated second studied cycle, experimental gilts were injected with testosterone, whereas control gilts received oil. Testosterone injections increased testosterone (by approximately 3.5-fold) and 17β-oestradiol (by approximately 1.6-fold) levels in the peripheral blood and decreased the following in the CaMG: the total number of Fast Blue-positive perikarya (including small ones); the population of small perikarya in the caudal, ventral and dorsal ganglional regions; the numbers of dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) and/or neuropeptide Y (NPY), somatostatin (SOM), galanin (GAL) small and large perikarya; the numbers of small perikarya containing DβH (but not NPY, SOM, GAL); and the density of DβH and/or NPY, SOM nerve fibres. A disappearance of small and large non-noradrenergic perikarya and an increase in the total number of androgen receptor-immunoreactive perikarya was noted. Our results suggest that elevated androgen levels occurring during pathological states may regulate ovary function(s) by affecting the CaMG gonad-supplying neurones.

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