Protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5). A new neuronal marker visualizing the whole uterine innervation and pregnancy-induced and developmental changes in the guinea pig

Histochemistry. 1988;90(1):9-17. doi: 10.1007/BF00495700.


The guinea pig uterus is supplied by different populations of nerves which can be demonstrated by specific immunocytochemical and histochemical techniques. So far, there has been no single marker displaying entire peripheral innervation patterns. Recently, protein gene product (PGP) 9.5, a cytoplasmic protein in neurons and neuroendocrine cells, was found to visualize both different populations and subtypes of nerves. This prompted the present study of using PGP 9.5 for visualization of the whole uterine innervation. This was performed by the indirect immunofluorescence method using antiserum to PGP 9.5 raised in rabbits. PGP-immunoreactivity was present in all neuronal parts of the extrinsic and intrinsic uterine innervation, including different subpopulations of nerves. This was verified by chemical sympathectomy and sensory denervation with 6-hydroxydopamine and capsaicin-treatment respectively, and double immunostaining. By term a disappearance of uterine PGP-nerve-immunoreactivity was observed which was almost complete in fetus-bearing uterine tissue and further strengthens previous assumptions of a general, pregnancy-induced uterine neuronal degeneration. The developmental time-course and morphology of PGP-immunoreactive nerve structures was similar to that for other neuronal markers and support the suggestion of PGP-immunoreactivity as a general marker for the entire uterine innervation, and suggests that the presence of PGP 9.5-immunoreactivity may coincide with functional maturation of uterine innervation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hydroxydopamines
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Neuropeptides / analysis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / metabolism*
  • Sympathectomy, Chemical
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Uterus / immunology
  • Uterus / innervation*


  • Biomarkers
  • Hydroxydopamines
  • Neuropeptides
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase