Morphology and Chemical Phenotype of the Ovarian Intrinsic Neurons in Neonate and Sexually Mature Reproductive Guinea Pig


Introduction: The existence of ovarian intrinsic neurons is well established. However, the morphology and chemical phenotype are not completely characterized and are even unknown for some species used in medical research. The purpose of this work was to determine the morphology and chemical phenotype of intrinsic neurons of the guinea pig ovary at two ages: neonates (0 days old) and sexually mature reproductive animals (90 days old). Materials and Methods: For the morphological analysis, we employed the modified Golgi-Cox impregnation technique. For the chemical phenotype, we used immunohistochemistry and the following antibodies; tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), transient receptor potential type 1 (TRPV1), neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN) and proto-oncogene product of the cFos gene (cFos). We also used enzyme histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase detection. Results: The number of intrinsic neurons in the neonate ovary was low in comparison to the adult guinea pig ovary. The intrinsic neurons were located in the cortex and the ovarian medulla; some were isolated or clustered, forming ganglia, and others were interconnected and formed networks. The neurons were small, medium or large. In the cortex of neonate vs adult ovaries, the small and medium neurons comprised 23% vs 36% and 5.2% vs 11.6%, respectively. In the medulla, the percent of the same neurons was 10.1% vs 10.1% and 1.1% vs 2.2% in the neonate and adult, respectively. In both cortex and medulla < 1% were large neurons at two ages. Also, the neurons were rounded, fusiform or multipolar. In the cortex, they were 12.7% vs 20.9%, 14.9% vs 24.2% and 1.1% vs 3.0%, respectively. In the medulla, the percent of small vs medium neurons was 6% vs 7.1% and 4.1% vs 4.8% in the neonate and adult ovary, respectively, and <1% were large neurons at both ages. The chemical phenotypes were in the neonate and adult: TH/NeuN-positive neurons, 16.3% vs 26.5%; CGRP/NeuN, 13.5% vs 35.8%; TRPV1/NeuN, 10.2% vs 38.6%; and cFos/NeuN, 4.6% vs 5.4%, respectively.The percent of NADPHd-positive cells in the cortex was 9.5% vs 25.1% and 3.2% vs 62.2% in the medulla in the neonate and adult, respectively. Conclusion: Altogether, these data showed that the number of ovarian intrinsic neurons was low at birth and increased in the sexually mature reproductive guinea pig. The chemical phenotype was rich and peptidergic, catecholaminergic and nitrergic in nature and positive for cFos immunoreactivity. Therefore, intrinsic neurons can be chemical sensors inside of the gonad and transmit signal to the central nervous system.

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Luna, F. , Barrientos, E. , Alatriste, V. , Martínez, I. , Limón, I. and González-Flores, O. (2015) Morphology and Chemical Phenotype of the Ovarian Intrinsic Neurons in Neonate and Sexually Mature Reproductive Guinea Pig. Advances in Reproductive Sciences, 3, 13-26. doi: 10.4236/arsci.2015.31002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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