Response properties of hypogastric afferent fibers supplying the uterus in the cat

Seung Kil Hong, Hee Chul Han, Young Wook Yoon, Jin Mo Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study was undertaken to examine the sensory function of uterine afferent fibers in cats at unknown stages of the estrous cycle. Single unit activity was recorded from strands of the hypogastric nerve of the anesthetized cat. Once a unit was found, the conduction velocity was determined and the mechanical receptive field localized on the uterus. The response properties of the unit to mechanical stimuli applied to the receptive field and to chemical stimuli applied by intra-arterial injection of algesic chemicals (bradykinin, KCl and capsaicin) into the uterine artery were studied. Single unit activity from a total of 52 units was examined in this study. Based on the conduction velocities, about 2 3 of these fibers were found to be unmyelinated C fibers and the remaining 1 3 were thinly myelinated Aδ fibers. The receptive fields of most of these fibers were located at different parts of the uterine horn and body while a few were at the uterine cervix. Mechanical thresholds, as determined by von Frey filaments applied to the external surface of the uterus, varied more than 150-fold among mechanically sensitive units, ranging from extremely low to high thresholds. In addition, most of these afferents were activated by intra-arterially injected algesic chemicals, often by more than one chemical. The data in the present study suggest that a large portion of the cat uterus is innervated by the hypogastric nerve and that these afferents originate from sensory receptors that have potentially a wide range of functions. Their potential functions as low threshold mechanoreceptors and nociceptors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Volume622
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 1993

Keywords

  • Algesic chemical
  • Bradykinin
  • Capsaicin
  • Chemoreceptor
  • Mechanoreceptor
  • Nociceptor
  • Visceral afferent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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