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The urinary bladder trigone (UBT) is a limited area through which the majority of vessels and nerve fibers penetrate into the urinary bladder and where nerve fibers and intramural neurons are more concentrated. We localized the extramural post-ganglionic autonomic neurons supplying the porcine UBT by means of retrograde tracing (Fast Blue, FB). Moreover, we investigated the phenotype of sympathetic trunk ganglion (STG) and caudal mesenteric ganglion (CMG) neurons positive to FB (FB+) by coupling retrograde tracing and double-labeling immunofluorescence methods. A mean number of 1845.1Â±259.3 FB+ neurons were localized bilaterally in the L1-S3 STG, which appeared as small pericarya (465.6Â±82.7 Âµm2) mainly localized along an edge of the ganglion. A large number (4287.5Â±1450.6) of small (476.1Â±103.9 Âµm2) FB+ neurons were localized mainly along a border of both CMG. The largest number (4793.3Â±1990.8) of FB+ neurons was observed in the pelvic plexus (PP), where labeled neurons were often clustered within different microganglia and had smaller soma cross-sectional area (374.9Â±85.4 Âµm2). STG and CMG FB+ neurons were immunoreactive (IR) for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) (66Â±10.1% and 52.7Â±8.2%, respectively), dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DÎ²H) (62Â±6.2% and 52Â±6.2%, respectively), neuropeptide Y (NPY) (59Â±8.2% and 65.8Â±7.3%, respectively), calcitonin-gene-related peptide (CGRP) (24.1Â±3.3% and 22.1Â±3.3%, respectively), substance P (SP) (21.6Â±2.4% and 37.7Â±7.5%, respectively), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) (18.9Â±2.3% and 35.4Â±4.4%, respectively), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) (15.3Â±2% and 32.9Â±7.7%, respectively), vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) (15Â±2% and 34.7Â±4.5%, respectively), leu-enkephalin (LENK) (14.3Â±7.1% and 25.9Â±8.9%, respectively), and somatostatin (SOM) (12.4Â±3% and 31.8Â±7.3%, respectively). UBT-projecting neurons were also surrounded by VAChT-, CGRP-, LENK-, and nNOS-IR fibers. The possible role of these neurons and fibers in the neural pathways of the UBT is discussed.
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