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  • Estrogen-induced collagen reorientation correlates with sympathetic denervation of the rat myometrium.

Estrogen-induced collagen reorientation correlates with sympathetic denervation of the rat myometrium.

Autonomic neuroscience : basic & clinical (2016-09-19)
G F Martínez, P Bianchimano, M M Brauer
ABSTRACT

Estrogen inhibits the growth and causes the degeneration (pruning) of sympathetic nerves supplying the rat myometrium. Previous cryoculture studies evidenced that substrate-bound signals contribute to diminish the ability of the estrogenized myometrium to support sympathetic nerve growth. Using electron microscopy, here we examined neurite-substrate interactions in myometrial cryocultures, observing that neurites grew associated to collagen fibrils present in the surface of the underlying cryosection. In addition, we assessed quantitatively the effects of estrogen on myometrial collagen organization in situ, using ovariectomized rats treated with estrogen and immature females undergoing puberty. Under low estrogen levels, most collagen fibrils were oriented in parallel to the muscle long axis (83% and 85%, respectively). Following estrogen treatment, 89% of fibrils was oriented perpendicularly to the muscle main axis; while after puberty, 57% of fibrils acquired this orientation. Immunohistochemistry combined with histology revealed that the vast majority of fine sympathetic nerve fibers supplying the myometrium courses within the areas where collagen realignment was observed. Finally, to assess whether depending on their orientation collagen fibrils can promote or inhibit neurite outgrowth, we employed cryocultures, now using as substrate tissue sections of rat-tail tendon. We observed that neurites grew extensively in the direction of the parallel-aligned collagen fibrils in the tendon main axis but were inhibited to grow perpendicularly to this axis. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that collagen reorientation may be one of the factors contributing to diminish the neuritogenic capacity of the estrogen-primed myometrial substrate.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Embedding molds, 19 Flat bullet-shaped unindexed cavities, maroon
Sigma-Aldrich
Toluidine Blue, for microscopy (Hist., Vit.)