, Volume 177, Issue 6, pp 543-556

Morphological study of cerebellar transplant cocultivated with cerebral cortical graft in the anterior eye chamber


Fetal cerebral cortex and cerebellar anlage from rat fetuses of 15–16 gestational day were grafted simultaneously to the anterior eye chamber of adult female albino rat recipients. Two months after transplantation the cerebellar portion of the double graft consisted of foliated cerebellar cortex surrounding a welldefined cerebellar nucleus. In the absence of pia mater or glial scar the cerebral and cerebellar grafts were observed to establish direct contact with each other.

Although much thinner than in the normal cerebellum, the overall morphological organization of the granular layer in the transplant was similar to that described for “in situ” normal cerebellum, with some remarkable differences, though. In normal cerebellum all mossy terminals contain spheroid synaptic vesicles, a characteristic morphological feature of excitatory endings. In the transplant, however, although the majority of mossy terminals contained (small or large) spheroid synaptic vesicles, numerous mossy terminals were filled with ovoid, or pleomorphic synaptic vesciles, a morphological marker of inhibitory terminals. GABA-immunogold reaction, revealed, indeed, the presence of this inhibitory transmitter in mossy terminals containing ovoid synaptic vesicles. Both GABA (-) and GABA (+) mossy terminals formed asymmetric (Gray I-type) synaptic junctions with the surrounding dendritic digits of granule cells. It is suggested that GABA-ergic fibers as well as most non-GABA-ergic axons (originating either from the cerebral cortical graft, or from the cerebellar nucleus) may develop to mossy terminal-like structures as a consequence of the huge deficit in “natural” mossy fibers in this model.