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Anat Embryol (Berl). 2002 Jul;205(4):307-13. Epub 2002 Jun 14.

The origin of sensory innervation of the peritoneum in the rat.

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Department of Anatomy, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8501, Japan.


The distribution of sensory neurons innervating the peritoneum was studied using axonal transport of fluoro-gold. The tracer was injected into parietal peritoneum, diaphragm, mesentery, mesocolon, visceral peritoneum covering the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, spleen, kidney, urinary bladder or uterus. After ten days of survival bilateral dorsal root ganglia from C2 to S6, and the nodose ganglia were dissected. The cryostat sections of these ganglia were mounted on glass slides and observed with a fluorescence microscope. In cases where the tracer was placed on the peritoneum covering the abdominal wall, labeled neurons were observed only in the ipsilateral dorsal root ganglia. A small number of neurons in nodose and cervical dorsal root ganglia of both sides were labeled after placing the tracer on the central part of the diaphragm. When fluoro-gold was applied to the peripheral part of the diaphragm, nodose ganglion was negative, and dorsal root ganglia from T6 to T12 were positive. Many neurons in the nodose ganglia in addition to somata in the dorsal root ganglia from T4 to T13 were labeled when the tracer was placed on the peritoneum lining the stomach, small intestine or caecum. After applying the tracer onto the colon, labeled neurons were observed in the dorsal root ganglia from T13 to L2 and L5 to S1. Ganglion cells in the nodose and dorsal root ganglia from T5 to T13 were positive when fluoro-gold was placed on the mesentery. No labeled neurons were observed in any ganglia when the tracer was applied to the peritoneum covering the spleen, kidney, uterus, urinary bladder and liver. These results suggest that most of the parietal peritoneum receives sensory nerves from dorsal root ganglia and the visceral peritoneum from both spinal nerves and the vagus nerve.

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