The purpose of this study was to use retrograde tracing techniques to examine hepatic neuroanatomy in the rat model, with special emphasis upon the identification of previously undiscovered intrahepatic parasympathetic ganglia. Retrograde analysis was performed using Fluoro-Gold (FG) tracer injections of both male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. To accurately examine the neural connectivity of both the vasculature and the parenchyma, the FG-labelled livers were divided into two groups. In the first, vessel trees were extracted via dissection and whole-mounted for bright field and confocal visualization. Left lateral lobes taken from the male and female liver that constituted the second group were sectioned, and slices from various layers of tissue were fixed to slides and visualized. The results indicated the presence of several large, fluorescent structures bearing a strong resemblance to parasympathetic ganglia. However, the images were not detailed enough to properly differentiate true ganglia from similar paraganglia. Regardless, the importance of this experiment lies in its attempt to revisit an understudied field in neuroscience, and the findings of this study could potentially provide a starting point for further inquiry.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Negrete, Kennan J., "Retrograde Labelling and Visualization of the Intrinsic Autonomic Ganglia of the Rat Liver" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 739.