The major ganglion in the pelvic plexus of the male rat - A histochemical and ultrastructural study

William G. Dail, Andrew P. Evan, Helen R. Eason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


To further evaluate the role of autonomic ganglia in the regulation of pelvic visceral activity, the neural elements in the major pelvic ganglion of the male rat have been studied with histochemical and electron microscopic techniques. The principal findings are that the ganglion is composed of cholinergic and adrenergic ganglion cells as well as small intensely fluorescent (SIF) cells. Polarity in the ganglion is indicated by clustering of small ganglion cells which stain intensely for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) along the pelvic nerve while larger cells, with weak to moderate AChE activity, collect near small branches of the hypogastric nerve. Some cholinergic ganglion cells are enclosed by a plexus of adrenergic terminals. SIF cells appear to be in contact with both cholinergic and adrenergic cells, although many of the fluorescent beads around adrenergic neurons may be short dendrites of ganglion cells, rather than processes of SIF cells. Two types of SIF cells may be distinguished on the basis of size and morphology of their granulated vesicles. Afferent synapses of the cholinergic type were common on SIF cells of the large granule and small granule type. Portions of SIF cells with large granules occur within the capsule of ganglion cells. Contacts seen here were interpreted as efferent synapses from SIF cells to the dendrites of ganglion cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalCell And Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 1975
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic ganglia
  • Pelvic plexus
  • Rat
  • SIF cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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