1994 Volume 57 Issue 4 Pages 405-413
Major nerve trunks that supply abdominal viscera contain axons of postganglionic neurons that originate in the coeliac ganglion, superior mesenteric ganglion, inferior mesenteric ganglia, hypogastric nerve ganglia and the sympathetic chain ganglia. Using the retrogradely transported neuronal marker Fast Blue, we mapped the distribution of labelled nerve cells after application of the dye to either the superior coeliac nerves, inferior coeliac nerves, superior mesenteric nerve, colonic nerves or hypogastric nerves.
Distinctive patterns of nerve cell locations were associated with each nerve trunk. Within the coeliac ganglion, nerve cells that projected into the superior coeliac nerves were almost exclusively lateral, whilst neurons in the medial part of the coeliac ganglion and in the rostral pole of the superior mesenteric ganglion tended to project into the inferior coeliac nerves.
Nerve cells located around the emerging superior mesenteric nerve in the superior mesenteric ganglion contributed the majority of axons to that nerve. Cells in both poles of the inferior mesenteric ganglia contributed the majority of postganglionic axons to the colonic nerves, but some cells in the caudal pole of the superior mesenteric ganglion also projected into the colonic nerves.
Postganglionic axons in the hypogastric nerves originated from cells predominantly located in the caudal pole of the inferior mesenteric ganglion; however, cells in the rostral pole of the inferior mesenteric ganglia, the superior mesenteric, coeliac and hypogastric nerve ganglia also contributed some axons.
Nerve cells of sympathetic chain ganglia projected into each of the nerve trunks; they were distributed rostro-caudally according to the nerve injected.
The more rostrally located coeliac nerves contained axons mainly from the lower thoracic and upper lumbar ganglia, whilst the more caudal colonic and hypogastric nerves contained axons from the mid-lumbar ganglia. Thus a widespread distribution of sympathetic neurons projects into each of the major abdominal nerve trunks, with the ganglion from which the nerve emerges being the greatest contributor, and the region around the emerging nerve comprising the preferred location within the ganglion.