Postnatal-related changes in the size and total number of neurons in the caudal mesenteric ganglion of dogs: Total number of neurons can be predicted from body weight and ganglion volume

Authors

  • Karina Martinez Gagliardo,

    1. Department of Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Júlio César De Carvalho Balieiro,

    1. Department of Basic Science, College of Animal Science and Food Engineering, University of São Paolo, Pirassununga, Brazil
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  • Romeu Rodrigues De Souza,

    1. Department of Anatomy, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Antonio Augusto Coppi Maciel Ribeiro

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    • Departamento de Cirurgia, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva, 87, São Paulo, 05508-000, Brazil
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    • Fax: 55-11-3091-7805


Abstract

Aging is mostly characterized by a progressive decline of neuronal function that involves both the central and the peripheral nervous system. The aging process is accompanied by changes in either the number or the size of neurons. However, these data are controversial and not very well known in the sympathetic ganglia of large mammals. Hence, the present investigation aimed to study the dog's caudal mesenteric ganglion (CMG) in three different periods of postnatal development, searching for qualitative and quantitative alterations. The CMG is responsible for the large intestine, internal anal sphincter, and partially the urogenital system innervations. Nine dead male dogs from the Veterinary Hospital of the College of Veterinary Medicine at University of São Paulo were divided into three well-defined age groups (1–2 months old, 1–2 years old, and 5–10 years old). The stereological study was pursued using the physical disector method combined to the Cavalieri principle. The postnatal development was accompanied by an increase in the nonneuronal tissue amount and in ganglion volume. Additionally, the total number of neurons also increased during aging (from 70,140 to 1,204,516), although the neuronal density showed an opposite trend (from 29,911 to 11,500 mm−3). Due to the interrelation between either body weight or ganglion volume and aging in the dogs investigated in this study, it was possible to predict the total number of neurons in CMG using both body weight and ganglion volume in an attempt to verify whether or not size and total number of neurons are both allometrically and aging ruled, i.e., if either the animal's body weight and ganglion volume or aging influence these parameters. The prediction of the total number of neurons was very close to the initially estimated values. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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