, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 133–139 | Cite as

The characteristic three-banded birefringence of ligamentum nuchae elastic fibres indicates ordered micellar texture

  • G. Romhányi


The ultrastructural organization of the elastic fibres of bovine ligamentum nuchae is still controversial (Kádár 1979; Sandberg 1976; Sandberg et al. 1981; Quintarelli et al. 1973; Gosline 1976). Polarization microscopy demonstrated convincingly, contrary to a recent negative report (Aaron and Gosline 1980), an ordered birefringent micellar texture (Schmidt 1939; Romhányi 1965; Fischer 1979). The three-banded anisotropic pattern of the fibres can be explained by the optical interference of two micellar textures of opposite orientation, one arranged circularly in the surface layer and the other oriented longitudinally in the axial core of the fibres (Romhányi 1965). Analysis of the underlying molecular mechanism for the anisotropic staining reaction of these fibres with Congo red led to the conclusion that this is due to a definite structural order of specific cross-linking segments within the random network of elastin. The anisotropic staining reaction of the elastic fibres with Congo red is described as the most simple method to demonstrate the three-banded birefringent pattern of ligamentum nuchae elastic fibres even in histologic sections.


Public Health Molecular Mechanism Surface Layer Histologic Section Random Network 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Romhányi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and NeurosurgeryUniversity of Pécs Medical SchoolPécsHungary

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