Nucleolar organization in granule cell neurons of the rat cerebellum

Miguel Lafarga, Maria T. Berciano, Jose P. Hervas, Juan Villegas

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    The present light and electron microscopic study deals with the morphology and cytochemical properties of the nucleolus in mature granule cells of the rat cerebellum. Nucleolar organization has been examined by several different methodological approaches: (a) determination of the number of nucleoli per cell from smear preparations, (b) morphometric estimation of nucleolar size, and (c) ultrastructural and cytochemical characterization of nucleolar components. The mean number of nucleoli per cell was found to be 1.46 ± 0.02 (mean ± SEM). The morphometric measurement of the nucleolar area showed an average value of 0.359 ± 0.07 μm2 (mean ± SDM). At the electron microscope level, most granule cell nucleoli displayed a fine texture which does not differ substantially from the 'ring-shaped' configuration usually found in cells with low levels of protein synthesis activity; i.e., a large round fibrillar centre surrounded by the dense fibrillar component, and small masses of granular component segregated from the preceding constituents. The meaning of this nucleolar configuration is discussed in the light of recent ultrastructural and biochemical data on nucleolar function. A relationship between this pattern of nucleolar organization and metabolic characteristics of the granule cells is suggested. © 1989 Chapman and Hall Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-26
    JournalJournal of Neurocytology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1989


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