A light and electron microscopic study of the human ovarian ligament.
The structure of the human ovarian ligament was studied with light and electron microscopy, with emphasis on neural components. The ligament is primarily composed of smooth muscle arranged in an outer oblique and an inner longitudinal layer. The smooth muscle cells are connected by two types of intercellular junctional complexes, close contacts and intermediate junctions. The intercellular junctions may serve to coordinate smooth muscle activity and synchronize contractions of the ligament. Nerves are abundant and accompany the vascular supply. Specialized encapsulated neural structures previously reported were not observed. Acetylcholinesterase-positive nerves are more numerous than adrenergic nerves. Both types of nerves are associated with vascular smooth muscle. We conclude that these nerves either traverse the ligament or terminate in the ligament and are vasomotor.