Three-dimensional reconstruction of the pericellular nests (baskets) of the motor (area 4) and visual (area 17) areas of the human cerebral cortex

A Golgi study
  • Miguel Marin-Padilla
Article

Summary

A detailed analysis of the structural organization, staining properties and distribution of the nests formed around the soma of the pyramidal neurons of the primary motor and visual areas of the human cerebral cortex is presented. The presence of pericellular nests in the human primary visual cortex (area 17), first postulated by Cajal seven decades ago, is confirmed. A simple method is introduced which consists of the reconstruction of transparent montages by superimposing various consecutive camera lucida drawings of any given structure. It has been possible, with this method, to reconstruct and to illustrate the complex structure of the pericellular nests of the human cerebral cortex. In addition, it has been possible to demonstrate, for the first time, the central, apparently empty and transparent cavity of the pericellular nest which is occupied by the unstained body of the pyramidal neuron. Transparent montages so constructed impart to the structure they represent a distinct and clear sense of depth which could be used in the study and in the reconstruction of other complex structures of the nervous system. It is hoped that the recognition of the pericellular nests of the human cerebral cortex as real anatomical entities and as a complex type of axosomatic synapses will encourage neurophysiological investigations of their possible functional role.

Key words

Cerebral cortex Pericellular nests Man 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Marin-Padilla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyDartmouth Medical SchoolHanoverUSA

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