Indexed on: 01 Jun '70Published on: 01 Jun '70Published in: Cell and Tissue Research
In the spinal cord of reptiles, nerve cells are situated between and below the ependymal cells of the central canal. These neurons are bipolar; their dendrites protrude into the cerebrospinal fluid of the central canal where they build up characteristic nerve endings. These terminals ramify into long, finger-like processes containing oriented filaments. In the terminals, filaments, too, can be found besides of multivesicular and basal bodies, the latter giving rise to long rootlet fibres and cilia. The dendrite of the neurons is connected with the apical part of the neighbouring ependymal cells by desmosome-like structures, and it contains numerous mitochondria and Golgi areas. In the perikarya, enlarged Golgi areas, rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, multivesicular bodies and dense-core vesicles (diameter about 870 Å) are found. The neurite of the nerve cells that passes ependymofugally, contains long mitochondria and neurotubules. On the dendrite, the basis of the distal cell process and the perikarya of the neurons, synapses can be observed; their presynaptic cytoplasm contains synaptic vesicles, mitochondria and some dense-core vesicles (diameter about 800 Å). In one section, 5 to 6 nerve terminals protrude into the central canal in about equal distance from each other.Below these liquor contacting neurons situated intraependymally and described above, there is another type of nerve cells which cytoplasm is more electron lucent and contains larger (diameter about 1,250 Å) granules resembling neurosecretory granules. The ependymal cells of the central canal possess numerous microvilli. The liquor contacting nerve terminals may sometimes contact the Reissner's fibre directly. It is suggested that the spinal liquor contacting neurons — similarly to those of the liquor contacting territories described up to now — are receptors. In their function, also the Reissner's fibre may play a role.