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Volume 69, Issue 7


Atypical localization of myenteric ganglia in the human appendical wall: a comparative study with animal appendix

Eliska Kubikova / Ivana Sivakova / Anna Perzelova
Published Online: 2014-08-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-014-0389-1


The presence of well developed appendices in some animals when compared to humans has led to speculation that appendix is a vestigial organ. Increasing number of studies have revealed that the appendix serves as an important organ in humans. The function of animal appendix, and the differences between species remain poorly understood. In this study we examined human myenteric plexus and compared them with animal studies. Appendices were obtained from five young adults in which the appendix was found to be normal after removal. Fixed appendix cryosections were examined by immunofluorescence methods using neuronal marker antibodies to neurofilaments and beta III tubulin. Both antibodies stained myenteric ganglia which were arranged in an apparently irregular pattern in human appendix wall. We observed unexpected localization of myenteric ganglia in the subserosa often accompanied by rarely occurring ganglia in the longitudinal muscle layer. These ganglia were of different sizes and shapes and unequally distributed under a thin layer of serosa. Our findings raise many questions about the possible role of irregular and atypical myenteric ganglia localization in relation to altered motility and subsequent pathogenesis of the appendix in inflammatory disease in humans. On the other hand, studies of the literature have revealed simplicity in the organization of myenteric plexus, e.g., in well-developed rabbit appendix. In addition, appendicitis in animals is restricted to in apes with similarly shaped appendix to humans.

Keywords: appendicitis; myenteric ganglia; neurofilaments; beta III tubulin; neuronal markers

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About the article

Published Online: 2014-08-19

Published in Print: 2014-07-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 69, Issue 7, Pages 931–935, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-014-0389-1.

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© 2014 Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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