Ovarian sympathectomy in the guinea pig - I. Effects on follicular development during the estrous cycle

Thomas E. Curry, Irvin E. Lawrence, Hubert W. Burden

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28 Scopus citations


The influence of ovarian adrenergic nerves on follicular growth during the estrous cycle in the adult guinea pig was ascertained by comparing follicular development in control and chemically sympathectomized ovaries from the same animal. Selective ovarian sympathectomy was achieved by injecting 6-hydroxydopamine into a surgically closed periovarian membranous sac (bursa) on day 2 of the cycle (day 1 = day of estrus). The contralateral surgically closed ovarian bursa was injected with solvent used for 6-hydroxydopamine. Animals were laparotomized on days 5, 10 and 14 of the cycle. Blood from the utero-ovarian vein was collected bilaterally for measurement of progesterone and androstenedione. The ovaries were processed for histologic examination, and the number of follicles in each ovary was analyzed morphometrically. Sympathectomy on day 2 caused a decrease in healthy preovulatory follicles (> 700 μm diameter) on day 10 of the cycle. There were no differences in ovarian weights or the total number of follicles per ovary at this time. On days 5 and 14 of the cycle, there were no differences in ovarian weights, total number of follicles per ovary or follicles in any size classification. Sympathectomy did not alter progesterone levels in the uteroovarian vein as compared to contralateral control levels. From control ovaries, there was a significant increase in progesterone in the blood of the utero-ovarian vein on day 10 but venous levels of progesterone from sympathectomized ovaries were not significantly different at any day of the cycle. In the venous effluent from sympathectomized ovaries, androstenedione was elevated at day 5 compared to days 10 and 14. These observations suggest that ovarian adrenergic nerves may modulate growth of large antral follicles and ovarian steroidogenesis during the estrous cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1984


  • Adrenergic nerves
  • Follicle growth
  • Guinea pig
  • Ovary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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