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J Morphol. 2005 Oct;266(1):112-24.

Comparative anatomical study of the autonomic cardiac nervous system in macaque monkeys.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo 162-8666, Japan. kawa@research.twmu.ac.jp

Abstract

The main aim of this study was to clarify the general morphology of the autonomic cardiac nervous system in macaque monkeys. A submacroscopic comparative anatomical study of the autonomic cardiac nervous system was performed by examining 22 sides of 11 bodies of four species of macaque monkeys, including some previously unreported species (pig-tailed and stump-tailed monkeys), under a surgical stereomicroscope. The following results were obtained. 1) The basic arrangement of the autonomic cardiac nervous system is constant in all examined macaques. 2) A superior cardiac nerve originating from the superior cervical ganglion was not observed, whereas the thoracic cardiac nerve originating from the sympathetic trunk/ganglia under the cervicothoracic ganglion was rarely observed in all the examined macaques. 3) The main cardiac nerve is the middle cardiac nerve originating from the middle cervical ganglion, similar to the situation in humans. 4) Although the superior, inferior, and thoracic cardiac branches of the vagus nerve were consistently observed, the left thoracic cardiac branch is rarely absent because of its lower origin to the heart. 5) The cranial autonomic nerves tend to distribute into the heart medially (arterial porta), and the caudal autonomic nerves tend to distribute into the heart laterally (venous porta). To comprehend the comparative morphological and evolutionary changes more completely, these results were compared with our previous studies and some references. Consequently, differences in the sympathetic cardiac nerves of macaques and humans are recognized, in spite of the similar morphologies of the vagal cardiac branches. These differences include the composition of the cervicothoracic ganglion, the lower positions of the middle cervical and cervicothoracic ganglia, and the narrow range for the origin of the cardiac nerves in macaques compared to that in humans.

Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
16127707
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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