[Fiber analysis of human ventral and dorsal roots on the basis of different acetylcholinesterase activity]

Acta Anat (Basel). 1979;103(3):319-26.
[Article in German]


Marked differences in the AChE activity of myelinated nerve fibers of ventral and dorsal roots could be established in human post mortem material. After a fixation time of 3 h and a critical incubation period of 24 h, in the mean 96% of the myelinated ventral root but only 4% of dorsal root fibers showed reaction product, detectable by the light microscope. The percentage of stained fibres varies, to some extent, in the different segments. Groups of very thin myelinated fibres within the ventral roots between the segments C-8 and L-3, showing a conspicuous high enzyme activity, are interpreted as pre-ganglionic sympathetic fibres; similar elements in the sacral ventral roots may represent parasympathetic fibres. The method of Karnovsky, applied under conditions established in this study, can be used for analysis of fibre types in a given human peripheral nerve.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Autonomic Fibers, Preganglionic / cytology
  • Autonomic Fibers, Preganglionic / enzymology
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons / enzymology
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / enzymology
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / cytology
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / enzymology*
  • Time Factors


  • Acetylcholinesterase