Extrinsic innervation of the pelvic organs in the lesser pelvis of human embryos

Nutmethee Kruepunga, Jill P. J. M. Hikspoors, Cindy J. M. Hulsman, Greet M. C. Mommen, S. Eleonore Kohler, Wouter H. Lamers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Realistic models to understand the developmental appearance of the pelvic nervous system in mammals are scarce. We visualized the development of the inferior hypogastric plexus and its preganglionic connections in human embryos at 4-8 weeks post-fertilization, using Amira 3D reconstruction and Cinema 4D-remodelling software. We defined the embryonic lesser pelvis as the pelvic area caudal to both umbilical arteries and containing the hindgut. Neural crest cells (NCCs) appeared dorsolateral to the median sacral artery near vertebra S1 at similar to 5 weeks and had extended to vertebra S5 1 day later. Once para-arterial, NCCs either formed sympathetic ganglia or continued to migrate ventrally to the pre-arterial region, where they formed large bilateral inferior hypogastric ganglionic cell clusters (IHGCs). Unlike more cranial pre-aortic plexuses, both IHGCs did not merge because the 'pelvic pouch', a temporary caudal extension of the peritoneal cavity, interposed. Although NCCs in the sacral area started to migrate later, they reached their pre-arterial position simultaneously with the NCCs in the thoracolumbar regions. Accordingly, the superior hypogastric nerve, a caudal extension of the lumbar splanchnic nerves along the superior rectal artery, contacted the IHGCs only 1 day later than the lumbar splanchnic nerves contacted the inferior mesenteric ganglion. The superior hypogastric nerve subsequently splits to become the superior hypogastric plexus. The IHGCs had two additional sources of preganglionic innervation, of which the pelvic splanchnic nerves arrived at similar to 6.5 weeks and the sacral splanchnic nerves only at similar to 8 weeks. After all preganglionic connections had formed, separate parts of the inferior hypogastric plexus formed at the bladder neck and distal hindgut.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-688
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Volume237
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • hindgut
  • hypogastric plexus
  • median sacral artery
  • neural crest cells
  • pelvic pouch
  • splanchnic nerves
  • umbilical arteries
  • SACRAL NEURAL CREST
  • ENTERIC NERVOUS-SYSTEM
  • SCHWANN-CELL PRECURSORS
  • MOUSE
  • INTESTINE
  • MIGRATION
  • NEURONS
  • ORIGIN
  • PLEXUS
  • MORPHOGENESIS

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