Section 22
Chapter 21,213

Internodal microvilli of Schwann cells of myelinated fibres in lizard spinal roots project onto unmyelinated axons

Pannese, E.; Procacci, P.; Ledda, M.; Arcidiacono, G.; Rigamonti, L.

Journal of Neurocytology 18(3): 295-302


ISSN/ISBN: 0300-4864
PMID: 2746302
DOI: 10.1007/bf01190832
Accession: 021212656

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Tufts of microvilli originating from the internodal cytoplasm of Schwann cells associated with myelinated axons in apparently normal lizard spinal roots have been studied under the electron microscope by means of both single and serial sections. More than one tuft of internodal microvilli may arise from a single Schwann cell. Sometimes mitochondria and more frequently an organelle resembling a multivesicular body with a clear matrix can be found in the Schwann cell cytoplasm underlying a tuft of internodal microvilli. The dimensions (length: 0.4-1.0 microns; diameter: 40-70 nm) and structure of internodal microvilli of the Schwann cell are very similar to those of nodal microvilli of the same cell. Each tuft of internodal microvilli projects towards an adjacent unmyelinated axon which at this site is partly devoid of its own Schwann cell sheath. Thus a single Schwann cell may be related to a myelinated axon and an unmyelinated axon at the same time. Patches of a dense axolemmal undercoating (which could be portions of the cytoskeleton) are present in the unmyelinated axon in close spatial correlation with internodal microvilli. The factors which could induce the formation of internodal microvilli as well as the possible role (or roles) of these microvilli are briefly discussed.

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