Effects of sympathectomy on ovarian follicular development and steroid secretion
Recently, the influence of adrenergic activity over ovarian function, and thus fertility, has begun to gain importance. Previous studies have shown that adrenergic activity through norepinephrine (NE) participates in the control of follicular development and steroidal secretion from the ovary, among other functions. To examine this phenomenon, the denervation of the gonad has been widely used to observe changes in the ovary’s performance. Nevertheless, the effect of the absence of adrenergic nerves in the ovary has only been studied in short times periods. In the present work, we used guanethidine (a drug that produces an irreversible sympathectomy) during the infantile period of rats, and we observed its effects in the adult rat (6 months old). Our results indicate that ovarian NE content is recovered at 6 months old, alongside with an increase of the adrenal content of NE and a dysfunctional celiac ganglion. Together, these results suggest that the recovery of ovarian NE does not come from a neural origin. In addition, ovarian performance was impaired because the changes in follicular development and steroidal secretion are not recovered despite the recovery of ovarian NE content. In conclusion, these results suggest that the nerve–ovarian connections, which are established during infantile development, are necessary for the accurate response of the ovary to sympathetic stimulation.
Source: The journal of Reproductive Science