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Title: Ultrastructural changes in the dorsal motor nucleus of monkey following bilateral cervical vagotomy
Authors: Ling, E.A. 
Wong, W.C.
Yick, T.Y.
Leong, S.K. 
Issue Date: 1986
Citation: Ling, E.A., Wong, W.C., Yick, T.Y., Leong, S.K. (1986). Ultrastructural changes in the dorsal motor nucleus of monkey following bilateral cervical vagotomy. Journal of Neurocytology 15 (1) : 1-15. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus (DMN) of the monkey (Macaca fascicularis) were of two main types: small (13 x 8 μm) and medium-sized (20 x 13 μm). The latter, which were the predominant form, contained a pale oval nucleus surrounded by organelle-rich cytoplasm. Between one and three long principal dendrites per section profile arose from each of the somata. Both axosomatic and axodendritic synapses were seen on these cells although the latter were more common. No structural changes were noted in the DMN 1-3 days after bilateral cervical vagotomy. Some of the dendrites of the medium-sized axotomized vagal neurons appeared darkened 5-10 days after the operation. With longer surviving intervals, i.e. 21 and 28 days after operation, darkened dendrites were more commonly seen and the cytoplasmic density of these dendrites was dramatically enhanced. Their mitochondria were pale and some of them also showed vesiculation. Both normal and degenerating axon terminals were seen to form synaptic contacts with the darkened dendrites. The degenerating axon terminals were characterized by the clumping of their round agranular vesicles. Both darkened dendrites and degenerating axon terminals were phagocytosed by hypertrophied astrocytes and activated microglial cells. Blood elements infiltrating into the DMN were a possible source for some of the neural macrophages. It was concluded from the present study that the dendrites of the vagal neurons were the first structures to degenerate in axotomy and these were subsequently removed by glial elements. Degenerating axon terminals on the darkened dendrites could represent endings of the central processes of peripheral vagal ganglion cells that had undergone transganglionic degeneration after damage to their peripheral processes.
Source Title: Journal of Neurocytology
ISSN: 03004864
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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