The neuroanatomy of an amphibian embryo spinal cord

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1982 Jan 27;296(1081):195-212. doi: 10.1098/rstb.1982.0002.


Horseradish peroxidase has been used to stain spinal cord neurons in late embryos of the clawed toad (Xenopus laevis). It has shown clearly the soma, dendrites and axonal projections of spinal sensory, motor and interneurons. On the basis of light microscopy we describe nine differentiated spinal cord neuron classes. These include the Rohon-Beard cells and extramedullary cells which are both primary sensory neurons, one class of motoneurons that innervate the segmental myotomes, two classes of interneurons with decussating axons, three classes of interneurons with ipsilateral axons and a previously undescribed class of ciliated ependymal cells with axons projecting ipsilaterally to the brain. We believe that all differentiated neuron classes are described and that this anatomical account is the most complete for any vertebrate spinal cord.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / anatomy & histology*
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology*
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Xenopus laevis / anatomy & histology
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase