Quantitative studies of superior cervical sympathetic ganglia in a variety of primates including man. I. the ratio of preganglionic fibers to ganglionic neurons

Ebbesson, S.O.

Journal of Morphology 124(1): 117-132

1968


ISSN/ISBN: 0362-2525
PMID: 4968011
DOI: 10.1002/jmor.1051240108
Accession: 025330772

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Abstract
Estimates of the number of ganglionic neurons of superior cervical sympathetic ganglia and the number of preganglionic axons in the trunks just caudal to these ganglia were obtained from a sample of primates that included: man, chimpanzee, baboon, stump-tailed macaque, rhesus monkey, and squirrel monkey. The number of ganglionic neurons ranged from 63,625 in a squirrel monkey ganglion to 1,041,652 neurons in a human ganglion. Estimates of the number of preganglionic fibers varied between 2,285 in a cervical sympathetic trunk of a squirrel monkey and 12,008 in a human specimen. The resulting ratios of preganglionic fibers to ganglionic neurons ranged from 1:28 in a squirrel monkey ganglion to 1:196 in a human ganglion.The data reported in this study reveal considerable variation in the ratio of pre- to post-ganglionic neurons, and as was noted in regard to the number of cells in the ganglion, the ratios of ganglionic to preganglionic neurons appear to increase as a function of body size. In contrast, the number of preganglionic fibers does not increase as strikingly with body size, but varies greatly in the same species. The resulting ratio between the two orders of neurons is, therefore, less predictable than the number of ganglionic neurons in any given ganglion.