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BIO 240 HISTOLOGY REVIEW Nervous Tissue

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BIO 240 HISTOLOGY REVIEW Nervous Tissue. Dr. Tim Ballard Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Orientation to the spinal cord. Spinal cord – cross section – silver – 4x objective. dorsal horns of gray matter. central canal. gray commissure. dorsal. ventral.

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BIO 240 HISTOLOGY REVIEWNervous Tissue

Dr. Tim Ballard

Department of Biology and Marine Biology

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Orientation to the spinal cord

Spinal cord – cross section – silver – 4x objective

dorsal horns of gray matter

central canal

gray commissure

dorsal

ventral

ventral horns of gray matter

Silver stains nerve cells and unmyelinated fibers brownish-black. The white matter is lightly stained because there is so much myelin around the fibers.

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Ventral motor neurons

motor neurons

Spinal cord – cross section – silver – 10x objective

In the ventral horn there are very large motor neurons. The brown fibers you see leaving the ventral horn are axons from these neurons.

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Ventral motor neurons

Spinal cord – cross section – silver – 40x objective

These much smaller cells are likely to be neuroglial cells.

neuronal cell body

neuronal cell body

dendrites

nucleus with a nucleolus

Think in three dimensions. Where would the dendritic zone or the axon be related to this two-dimensional section?

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Ventral motor neurons

Spinal cord – cross section – silver – 40x objective

nucleus with a nucleolus

This could be an axon hillock. Compared to the other branches here, this has a larger diameter, so it could be giving rise to an axon.

Seeing Nissl substance and neurofibrils within cell bodies requires special stains. With careful fine-focusing, you may get a sense of these intracellular materials.

Look at all of the cross-hatching brown-black fibers between the cell bodies. This is the “neuropil,” all of the axons of the gray matter connecting cells.

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Ventral motor neurons

Spinal cord – cross section – Nissl’s stain – 40x objective

ventral motor neuron

neuroglial cells

Look at the differences in size between neuronal cell bodies and neuroglia.

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Cerebellar cortex

Cerebellum – section – silver – 4x objective

Purkinje cell layer

gray matter

white matter

Silver stains nerve cells and unmyelinated fibers brownish. The white matter is heavily stained due to the presence of myelinated fibers.

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Cerebellar cortex

Cerebellum – section – silver – 10x objective

molecular cell layer

Purkinje cell layer

granular cell layer

Look at the differences in neuronal sizes between the three layers of neurons shown above.

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Cerebellar cortex

Cerebellum – section – silver – 40x objective

molecular cell layer

granular cell layer

Purkinje cell layer

Look at the differences in neuronal sizes between the three layers of neurons shown above.

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Dorsal root ganglion

Spinal ganglion – section – silver – 4x objective

The dorsal root ganglion consists of nothing but the cell bodies of sensory neurons.

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Dorsal root ganglion

Spinal ganglion – section – silver – 40x objective

Sensory neurons are pseudounipolar, so it is hard to see dendrites, axons, and central processes.

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Features of nerve fibers

Nerve – longitudinal section – H&E – 4x objective

The nuclei you find in this section are those of Schwann cells (neurolemmocytes).

With the H&E stain, nerve fibers don’t stain, but the Schwann cells do. Nodes of Ranvier and the myelin are much more easily seen with an osmium stain.

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Features of nerve fibers

Nerve – teased fibers – osmium – 20x objective

node of Ranvier

Osmium stains the lipid of myelin gray-black. The segments you see are individual pieces of myelin. Between each would reside nodes of Ranvier.

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Structures of a nerve in cross section

Artery, vein, and nerve – cross section – H&E – 4x objective

nerve

vein

artery

Oftentimes, an artery, its two companion veins, and a nerve will travel together bundled into a common connective tissue.

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Structures of a nerve in cross section

Artery, vein, and nerve – cross section – H&E – 10x objective

fascicles

This nerve is formed of 4 fascicles (individual bundles of fibers)

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Structures of a nerve in cross section

Perineurium – invests an individual fascicle, holding the nerve fibers together as a single fascicle

Epineurium – invests all the fascicles, holding them together as a single nerve

Endoneurium – extensions of the perineurium that invest each individual nerve fiber within the fascicle

Artery, vein, and nerve – cross section – H&E – 10x objective

This nerve is formed of 4 fascicles (individual bundles of fibers)

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