Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The neurons of the trigeminal ganglia of the rat and chicken were characterized by means of light microscopic, electron microscopic, and histochemical methods. Light microscopy disclosed four types of neurons, based on the characteristics of Nissl granules: (1) large neurons with diffusely distributed and very fine granules, (2) neurons containing coarse and sparsely distributed Nissl granules, (3) neurons containing dense Nissl granules of varying size, and (4) small neurons with granules concentrated peripherally. Electron microscopy allowed further definition of these four types of neurons by the length and arrangement of flattened cisterns of granular endoplasmic reticulum (gER) and the number of neurofilaments. Type 1 cells were largest, with a mean nuclear area of 139.8 ± 28.3 μm2. Type 4 cells were smallest, with a mean nuclear area of 74.6 ± 20.9 μm2. The mean nuclear areas of type 2 and 3 cells were intermediate to those of the type 1 and 4 cells. Type 3 and 4 neurons lacked neurofilaments. Four forms of Golgi apparatus were found: (1) large bent grains forming a network throughout the soma, (2) dispersed fine granular deposits, (3) fine or small granules, and (4) coarse bent deposits arranged confluently in the perinuclear zone. In some rat neurons, the concentration of acid phosphatase reaction products suggested a high enzymatic activity, whereas the chicken ganglion cells showed no such concentration. These findings are discussed and compared with the classifications of previous studies.
Type of Medium: