The compact arrangement of cells in the normal white matter of the brain makes an analysis of cellular architecture difficult. To overcome this difficulty, cerebral edema was induced in rats by means of the unilateral intracerebral implantation of silver nitrate. Within 48 hr, the brains were fixed by perfusion with glutaraldehyde followed by immersion in Dalton's chrome-osmium. Sections of the callosal radiations were studied in the electron microscope. The untreated hemisphere appeared entirely unaltered, whereas in the edematous hemisphere the edema fluid separated individual cell processes and small groups of them. The myelin sheaths and their relationships to the axons appeared essentially unaltered. In this material, analysis of cellular architecture was relatively easy, and the widely held theory of spiral wrapping could be confirmed. In addition, several other aspects of the myelin and myelin-forming cell relationships became apparent in the edematous tissue. Most of these were later confirmed by extensive and careful study of the nonedematous tissue. These included the presence of occasional isolated cytoplasmic areas in myelin and the presence of two complete sheaths around a single axon. Other observations, such as the appearance of mitochondria and dense bodies within the outer loop and the separation of myelin lamellae, are apparently limited to the edematous tissue.

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