The cytoarchitecture of the adult human parabrachial nucleus: a Nissl and Golgi study.
The parabrachial nucleus (PBN) plays important roles in numerous autonomic functions and in pain modulation. In different animal species, three main regions of the PBN have been identified: the m-PB, the l-PB, and the Kolliker-Fuse nucleus (KF). The KF has not been identified in humans. The present study used Nissl and Golgi-Cox material and morphoquantitative methods to investigate the cytoarchitectural organization of the adult human PBN, paying particular attention to neuronal features endowed with functional significance, i. e. the arborization of the neurons. The PBN neuron population is made up of elements which are heterogeneous in size, shape and dendritic arborization, and grouped into two regions, the lateral and medial PBN (l- and m-PB). It has been suggested that some large sized neurons located in the ventral region of the m-PB might be the counterpart of the KF. In the m-PB the fusiform neurons are the most numerous cells; in the l-PB the multipolar neurons prevail, and are particularly numerous in the dorsal l-PB. Since the dendritic arborization is generally the main target of afferent projections to a neuron, it is possible that the l-PB, and in particular its dorsal region, might be the main site for the endings of afferences to the human PBN. (+info)
Histochemically detected differences in cultured sympathetic neurons.
Fetal or newborn rat and guinea-pig sympathetic ganglia were cultured in Rose chambers. After periods of up to 14 days in vitro, cultures were processed for catecholamine fluorescence or acetylcholinesterase histochemistry. The two types of neuron previously identified showed different histochemical reactions. The less frequent, smaller Type I cells contained catecholamine but did not stain for acetylcholinesterase. These cells may be immature. The more common Type II cells showed reactions for both catecholamine and acetylcholinesterase and in this respect resembled mature ganglion cells. (+info)
The ferret's vomeronasal organ and accessory olfactory bulb: effect of hormone manipulation in adult males and females.
The male ferret, a carnivore, was recently shown to possess a vomeronasal organ (VNO). We compared the morphology of the VNO and its associated accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) in male and female ferrets that were killed in adulthood. The volume and surface area of the VNO neuroepithelium were similar in adult gonadectomized male and female ferrets regardless of whether they were treated with testosterone propionate (TP) or oil vehicle. An AOB was localized bilaterally in the medial caudal part of the olfactory bulbs of adult ferrets using soybean agglutin binding and immunostaining for luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone and tyrosine hydroxylase as well as Nissl staining of coronal, horizontal, and sagittal brain sections. There was no effect of sex or TP treatment on AOB cell layer volume in adult gonadectomized animals. We found the ferret's AOB to be more medially located and much smaller than previously reported in this species, thus highlighting the importance of using several histochemical markers to characterize this structure in any previously unexamined species. Adult male and female ferrets both have a VNO and an associated AOB. More research is needed to determine what role, if any, this accessory olfactory system plays in mediating behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to pheromones in ferrets of either sex. (+info)
Temporal binding via cortical coincidence detection of specific and nonspecific thalamocortical inputs: a voltage-dependent dye-imaging study in mouse brain slices.
Voltage-sensitive dye imaging of mouse thalamocortical slices demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the centrolateral intralaminar thalamic nucleus (CL) resulted in the specific activation of thalamic reticular nucleus, striatum/putamen, and cortical layers 5, 6, and 1. By contrast, ventrobasal (VB) thalamic stimulation, while activating the reticular and basal ganglia nuclei, also activated directly layers 4 and deep 5 of the cortex. Conjoined stimulation of the VB and CL nuclei resulted in supralinear summation of the two inputs at cortical output layer 5, demonstrating coincidence detection along the apical dendrites. This supralinear summation was also noticed at gamma band stimulus frequency ( approximately 40 Hz). Direct stimulation of cortical layer 1, after a radial section of the cortex that spared only that layer, was shown to sum supralinearly with the cortical activation triggered by VB stimulation, providing a second demonstration for coincidence detection. Coincidence detection by coactivation of the specific (VB) and nonspecific (CL) thalamic nuclei has been proposed as the basis for the temporal conjunction that supports cognitive binding in the brain. (+info)
Effects of postnatally administered inorganic lead on the tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive norepinephrinergic neurons of the locus ceruleus of the rat.
The neurotoxic effects of inorganic lead are known to include peripheral neuropathy in adults and encephalopathy in children. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of inorganic lead (PbCl2) administration on norepinephrinergic neurons of the locus ceruleus in neonatal rats by immunocytochemical and electron microscopic analyses. Lead chloride solutions, 0.05%, 0.1% and 0.2% in concentrations, were prepared in distilled water and administered orally via drinking water. After 4, 8, or 12 weeks of continuous administration, the rats were sacrificed and brains were immunostained with the tyrosine hydroxylase antibody. The number of immunoreactive cell bodies in the locus ceruleus was estimated. Densitometric analysis of immunoreactive profiles visualized by electron microscopy was performed using an image analyzer. The numbers of immunoreactive neurons in the locus ceruleus were increased statistically by lead administration. The intensity of the immunoreaction, both under the light and electron microscopes was also increased. Degenerative changes, including intra-axonal vacuole formation and widening of the extracellular spaces, were found by electron microscopy in and around the tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive axons. Increased tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity may correlate with the hyper-reactivity of lead intoxicated children. Degenerative changes may account for the reported deficits in intellectual attainment and achievement in lead intoxicated children. (+info)
Differential dendritic shrinkage of alpha and beta retinal ganglion cells in cats with chronic glaucoma.
PURPOSE: To study changes in the dendritic morphology of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in cats with experimental chronic glaucoma. METHODS: Chronic elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) was produced by injecting endogenous ghost red blood cells into the unilateral anterior chamber of the feline eyes for 1 month. The morphologic features of retrograde-labeled RGCs by bilateral injection of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) into layers A and Aa1 of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) were examined and compared between the normal and glaucomatous eyes. Nissl staining was used for measuring the change in cell density in the retina and the LGN. RESULTS: Quantitative analysis of 720 labeled alpha and beta type RGCs showed that the cell density, body size, maximum dendritic field radius, total dendritic length, and number of branch bifurcations of dendrites decreased significantly in glaucomatous eyes compared with normal ones. The cell loss and shrinkage of dendrites in alpha type ganglion cells in the retina was more pronounced than that in beta type cells. The cell density of all kinds of cells in the retina and LGN monotonically declined with time while IOP was elevated, and cell loss was more significant in large cells than in small ones. CONCLUSION: Progressive cell loss and dendritic damage by chronic elevation of IOP in RGCs and LGN cells are more pronounced in the Y-channel (large cells) than the X-channel (small cells) in feline glaucomatous eyes. The dendritic structure changes and corresponding physiological deficits of RGCs occur before cell death and thus may provide an opportunity for clinical treatment. (+info)
Thalamic involvement in a spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and a spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) patient, and its clinical relevance.
In spite of the considerable progress in clinical and molecular research, knowledge regarding brain damage in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and type 3 (SCA3) still is limited and the extent to which the thalamus is involved in both diseases is uncertain. Accordingly, we performed a pathoanatomical analysis on serial thick sections stained for lipofuscin granules and Nissl substance through the thalami of two genetically confirmed cases: one an SCA2 patient, the other an SCA3 patient. During this systematic study, we detected severe destruction of the reticular (RT), fasciculosus (FA), ventral anterior (VA), ventral lateral (VL), ventral posterior lateral (VPL), ventral posterior medial (VPM), cucullar (CU) and mediodorsal thalamic nuclei (MD), the lateral geniculate body (LGB) and inferior nucleus of the pulvinar (PU i) in the SCA2 case, and a severe neuronal loss in the RT, FA, VA and PU i of the SCA3 case. In the SCA2 patient, additional obvious neuronal loss was observed in all nuclei of the anterior and rostral intra laminar groups, in the lateral posterior nucleus (LP), the lateral (PU l) and the medial subnuclei of the pulvinar (PU m), whereas in the SCA3 patient only two of the nuclei that belong to the anterior thalamic group, the VL, VPL, VPM, LP, LGB, PU l and PU m, displayed marked neurodegeneration. These novel findings indicate that thalamic involvement in SCA2 and SCA3 patients has been underestimated in the past. In view of what is known about the functions of the affected thalamic nuclei, the present findings provide an appropriate pathoanatomical explanation for some of the disease-related symptoms seen in both of our and other SCA2 and SCA3 patients: gait, stance, truncal and limb ataxia, dysarthria or anarthria, falls, dysdiadochokinesia and bradykinesia, problems with writing, somatosensory deficits, saccadic dysfunctions, executive dysfunctions and abnormalities of visual evoked potentials. (+info)
AN ELECTRON MICROSCOPE STUDY OF CULTURED RAT SPINAL CORD.
Explants prepared from 17- to 18-day fetal rat spinal cord were allowed to mature in culture; such preparations have been shown to differentiate and myelinate in vitro (61) and to be capable of complex bioelectric activity (14-16). At 23, 35, or 76 days, the cultures were fixed (without removal from the coverslip) in buffered OsO(4), embedded in Epon, sectioned, and stained for light and electron microscopy. These mature explants generally are composed of several strata of neurons with an overlying zone of neuropil. The remarkable cytological similarity between in vivo and in vitro nervous tissues is established by the following observations. Cells and processes in the central culture mass are generally closely packed together with little intervening space. Neurons exhibit well developed Nissl bodies, elaborate Golgi regions, and subsurface cisternae. Axosomatic and axodendritic synapses, including synaptic junctions between axons and dendritic spines, are present. Typical synaptic vesicles and increased membrane densities are seen at the terminals. Variations in synaptic fine structure (Type 1 and Type 2 synapses of Gray) are visible. Some characteristics of the cultured spinal cord resemble infrequently observed specializations of in vivo central nervous tissue. Neuronal somas may display minute synapse-bearing projections. Occasionally, synaptic vesicles are grouped in a crystal-like array. A variety of glial cells, many apparently at intermediate stages of differentiation, are found throughout the otherwise mature explant. There is ultrastructural evidence of extensive glycogen deposits in some glial processes and scattered glycogen particles in neuronal terminals. This is the first description of the ultrastructure of cultured spinal cord. Where possible, correlation is made between the ultrastructural data and the known physiological properties of these cultures. (+info)