Special dendritic and axonal endings formed by the cerebrospinal fluid contacting neurons of the spinal cord

Cell Tissue Res. 1977 Oct 14;183(4):541-52. doi: 10.1007/BF00225666.


The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contacting neurons have a dendritic process which protrudes into the central canal, and is provided with one long kinocilium and many shorter stereocilia (about 80 in the turtle) as revealed by scanning electron mecroscopy. The shape, number and arrangement of the cilia are similar to those of known receptor endings. The silver impregnated axons of these cells converge to a paired centrosuperficial tract forming terminal enlargements at the ventrolateral surface of the spinal cord. Lying among glial endfeet these terminals are ultrastructurally similar to those present in known neurosecretory areas. The nerve endings are attached to the basal lamina, and they comprise many synaptic vesicles (200 to 400 A in diameter), as well as granular vesicles of different sizes (diameter 600 to 1800 A). The axons may lie within finger-like protrusions on the surface of the spinal cord, or they may terminate around vesseles. Morphological evidence suggests that these nerve terminals and the corresponding CSF contacting perikarya represent a spinal neurosecretory system possibly influenced by information taken up by its special dendrites protruding into the inner CSF space.

MeSH terms

  • Amphibians / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Axons*
  • Birds / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • Cilia
  • Dendrites*
  • Fishes / anatomy & histology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / ultrastructure
  • Reptiles / anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord / ultrastructure*
  • Synaptic Vesicles