Freehand, isolated neuronal perikarya from the hypoglossal nucleus of the rabbit have been examined with light-and electron-microscopy (transmission and scanning). The surface of the cell bodies was largely covered with spherical particles which were 0.5–2 µ in diameter. Transmission electron microscopy proved that the spherical particles were synaptic nerve terminals. Crush of the hypoglossal nerve which leads to chromatolysis and swelling of the neuronal cell bodies results in a conspicuous reduction in the number of terminals attached to the surface of hypoglossal neurons. This effect was observed both for isolated neurons and in tissue sections. The effect is considered in relation to earlier reported variations in the adherence of neuropil to isolated neuronal perikarya. The functional importance of nerve ending detachment in connection with nerve injury is discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.