Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 60, Issue 3–4, pp 291–296 | Cite as

Node-like axonal specialisations along demyelinated central nerve fibres: Ultrastructural observations

  • W. F. Blakemore
  • K. J. Smith
Original Works

Summary

Ultrastructural examination of long-term (1 month to 1 year) demyelinated axons of the central nervous system (CNS) has revealed the presence of certain features typical of nerve fibres at the node of Ranvier. Focal regions of dense undercoating of the axolemma were observed and these always extended along regions which were intimately associated with the processes of gial cells. In many cases the glial cells were astrocytes, but in some cases the cells resembled Schwann cells. The astrocytic and Schwann cell processes were sometimes finger-like and they thus resembled the normal projections of these cells onto the nodal axolemma of central and peripheral nerve fibres, respectively. Since the undercoated regions which were associated with astrocytic processes were also often remote from any oligodendrocyte or Schwann cell processes, it seems that certain node-like specialisations may form or be sustained in the absence of myelin-forming cells.

Key words

CNS Node of Ranvier Demyelination Astrocytes 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. F. Blakemore
    • 1
  • K. J. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Clinical Veterinary MedicineUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland
  2. 2.Dept. of PhysiologyRush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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