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Keywords:

  • artery;
  • isotonic measurement;
  • oxytocin;
  • pelvic organ prolapse;
  • relaxin;
  • sacrouterine ligament;
  • vascular plexus

Abstract

Aims

The uterosacral ligament (USL) contains prominent vessels, the function of which is unknown. Here we study the relationship between smooth muscle of the USL and the vascular bundles.

Methods

Native samples of arteries and vascular bundles were mounted in a perfusion chamber under the stereomicroscope. The effects of noradrenalin, carbachol, oxytocin, and relaxin were monitored by digital time-lapse video and quantified by image processing.

Results

Arteries were adrenergic and the smooth muscle in the adventitia cholinergic. Relaxin-2 shifted the dose response curve of noradrenalin to the right and widened the arterial lumen within 30 min. Oxytocin induced contraction of the adventitial smooth muscle leading to a slow opening of the artery. In a vascular bundle the differential pattern of both reactivities was demonstrated.

Conclusions

In the USL the smooth muscle extends into the adventitial layer of blood vessels and forms a functional unit with the vascular plexus, which is regulated by relaxin and oxytocin. Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:1300–1306, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.