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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1977 Aug;59(3):323-30.

J. Edouard Samson Address: the autonomic nerve supply of bone. An experimental study of the intraosseous adrenergic nervi vasorum in the rabbit.


The anatomy of the autonomic sympathetic vasomotor nerve supply of bone was studied in rabbits by methods of histochemistry, and fluorescent and electron microscopy. Our observations show that the intraosseous vessels are richly supplied by adrenergic nerves. The large primary nerves are located on or about the surface of the vessel; the medium sized secondary nerves spiral around the long axis of vessels lying more deeply in the tunica adventitia; and the fine tertiary nerves form a rich plexus at the outer area of the tunica media. The tertiary nerves have various structures which probably contain neurotransmitter substance--that is, noradrenaline--and function as neuro-vasomuscular synapses. The sympathetic nerve supply of bone originates from the appropriate ganglion, and in the case of the tibial diaphysis it descends through the sciatic nerve and thereafter mainly through the medial popliteal nerve and enters the bone alongside the nutrient artery.

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