The aim of this study was to locate in male pigs the sensory and autonomic ganglia innervating the retractor penis muscle (RPM), which was taken as an experimental model of the genital smooth musculature. The retrograde neuronal tracers horseradish peroxidase (HRP), Fast Blue (FB), and diamidino yellow (DY) were injected into the bulbopenile portion of the left RPM. The tracers highlighted a different affinity for the neuronal structures, although labelled cells supplying the RPM were generally found in bilateral dorsal root ganglia (DRGs, S1-S3), in bilateral paravertebral ganglia (PaGs, L2-S3), and in the left and right caudal mesenteric ganglia (CMGs). The mean number of labelled FB cells was 795 (range, 645-952) in DRGs, 16046.25 (range, 10226-18742) in PaGs, and 635.25 (range, 333-786) in CMGs. The mean diameter of pseudounipolar DRG cells was 60-75 microm, while the multipolar neurons of PaGs and CMGs had dimensions varying between 20-50 microm and 20-30 microm, respectively.
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