Position and Size of the Axon Hillock in Various Groups of Neurons


The origin of the axon was studied in Golgi-Kopsch impregnated specimens prepared from the spinal cord and brain of adult rats. Five types of neurons were sampled: large ventral horn neurons, neurons in the intermediate zone and ventral horn of the spinal cord, antenna-type neurons in the spinal dorsal horn, neurons in the thalamus, and neurons in the hypothalamus. The axon originated from the perikaryon in 76% of the large ventral horn neurons and in 64% of the neurons in the thalamus. In contrast, the axon emerged from one of the dendrites in 75% of the neurons in the intermediate zone and the ventral horn of the spinal cord and in 68% of the neurons in the hypothalamus. In the case of the antenna-type neurons in the spinal dorsal horn, the axon often originated from one of the dendrites, but never from a dorsally oriented dendrite. The mean distance of the axon hillock of dendritic origin was the longest in the neurons in the intermediate zone and the ventral horn of the spinal cord. The size of the axon hillock was proportional to the size of the perikaryon. The impregnated portion of the axon was longest in the large ventral horn neurons.


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Correspondence to M. Réthelyi.

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Dedicated to Professor József Hámori on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

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Réthelyi, M. Position and Size of the Axon Hillock in Various Groups of Neurons. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 53, 153–165 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1556/ABiol.53.2002.1-2.15

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  • Axon hillock
  • spinal neurons
  • thalamic neurons
  • hypothalamic neurons
  • rat