Distribution of nuclear pores and chromatin organization in neurons and glial cells of the rat cerebellar cortex

J Comp Neurol. 1989 Dec 15;290(3):440-50. doi: 10.1002/cne.902900311.


Nuclear pores were assessed on freeze-fracture replicas from different neuronal and glial cell types of the rat cerebellar cortex. Nuclear diameter and perimeter were measured on semithin sections, and nuclear surface area and volume were calculated from these data. The proportion of inner nuclear membrane in apposition to condensed chromatin was measured on thin sections. The values of nuclear pore numerical density (number/micron2) were as follows (mean +/- S.D.): Purkinje cells, 22 +/- 3; Golgi cells 17 +/- 3; granule cells, 6 +/- 4; stellate and basket cells, 6 +/- 1; protoplasmic astrocytes, 11 +/- 1; Bergmann glia, 10 +/- 1; oligodendrocytes, 6 +/- 1. The total number of nuclear pores per nucleus varied from 18,451 +/- 2,336 (Purkinje cells) to 621 +/- 394 (granule cells) among neurons, and from 1,782 +/- 162 (protoplasmic astrocytes) to 402 +/- 67 (oligodendrocytes) among glial cells. The number of nuclear pores per unit nuclear volume (number/micron3), a parameter related to nucleocytoplasmic transport capacity, varied from 15 +/- 2 in Purkinje cells to 6 +/- 4 in granule cells. The proportion of nuclear membrane free of condensed chromatin was significantly (P less than 0.01) correlated to pore numerical density and total number of pores per nucleus. Some nuclear pores were associated in clusters of two or more pores. The amount of pore clustering was measured by counting the proportion of pores associated in clusters. This proportion varied among the different cell types from 82% in Purkinje cells to 44% in stellate and basket cells. The amount of pore clustering showed a positive linear correlation to pore numerical density and pore number per nucleus. However, the proportion of pores in clusters was not significantly correlated with the amount of condensed chromatin applied against the inner nuclear membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellar Cortex / ultrastructure*
  • Chromatin / analysis*
  • Female
  • Freeze Fracturing
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure*
  • Nuclear Envelope / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Chromatin