Phylogenetic and Conceptual Aspects of the Subcommissural Organ

  • A. Oksche


The subcommissural organ (SCO) is a unique secretory structure of the vertebrate brain. It consists of specialized ependymal and ependymal-derived cells of neuroepithelial origin — elements of glial lineage. Because of its extensive secretory activity and the chemical properties of its secretion, this array of cells assumes, among plain ependymal and glial elements, a position similar to that of neurosecretory nerve cells among ordinary neurons. Incontrast to the extended apparatus of neuroendocrine, especially peptidergic neurons, the phenomenon of ependyma- or glia-related secretion (see Knowles 1969) appears to be restricted to a few specialized formations. In a number of ependymal complexes, formerly claimed to be secretory (see Studnička 1900; Legait 1942), the elements possessing a secretory capacity are actually closely adjacent neurons (see Oksche 1969). Furthermore, granular inclusions of glial cells supposed to indicate an extended interstitial gland of the brain (as suggested by Nageotte 1910) were more recently proven to be regular cell organelles.


Posterior Commissure Pineal Organ Secretory Material Circumventricular Organ Conceptual Aspect 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

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  • A. Oksche

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