The three-dimensional (3-D) architecture of the smooth musculature of the human Fallopian tube was studied by means of scanning electron microscopy after NaOH maceration and ultrasonic microdissection of the interstitial connective tissue. The tubes (isthmus and ampulla) were taken from ten women (35-45 years old) with their consent that were subjected to hysterectomy for metrorrhagia. The myosalpinx of the isthmus and ampulla consists of a continuous network of randomly anastomosed smooth muscle cell (SMC) bundles with a multidirectional arrangement. The SMC bundles modify their orientation, intertwine repeatedly with each other and dichotomize. This plexiform arrangement of the musculature is more evident in the ampulla than in the isthmus where SMC often tend to form discrete but irregualr oblique/circular and longitudinal bundles. These results demonstrate that the myosalpinx of the human ampulla and isthmus are not composed of clear cut longitudinally, circularly or spirally arranged layers, as suggested in previous bidimensional light and transmission electron microscopic studies. Furthermore the presence of a network of multidirectional SMC bundles suggests that there is no morphological evidence for unidirectional peristalis. Moreover, the muscular structural features of the human Fallopian tube result more likely suited to stir rather than push tubal contents (gametes/embryos as well as tubal secretions and fluids) As postulated in early experimental physiological studies these real 3-D data actually better explain the random pattern of propagation of the contraction waves and the electrical impulses through the SMC. Further for the ampullar musculature they suggest that its specific role may not be only related to tubal transport but also involved in shaking the tubal contents.
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Cell Biology