The chromatoid body (CB) is a male reproductive cell-specific organelle that appears in spermatocytes and spermatids. The cytoplasmic granule corresponding to the CB was first discovered some 130 years ago by von Brunn in 1876. Thirty years later the German term "chromatoide Körper" (chromatoid body) was introduced to describe this granule and is still used today. In this review, first, the results obtained by light microscopic studies on the CB for the first 60 years are examined. Next, many findings revealed by electron microscopic studies are reviewed. Finally, recent molecular cell biological studies concerning the CB are discussed. The conclusion obtained by exploring the papers on CB published during the past 130 years is that many of the modern molecular cell biological studies are undoubtedly based on information accumulated by vast amounts of early studies.
Keywords: P-body function; chromatoid body; lysosomal function; research history.