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Prenatal development of the rat dorsal root ganglia

A scanning electron-microscopic study

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This study describes three-dimensional aspects of the development and pseudo-unipolarization of neuroblasts and the maturation of satellite cells in prenatal rat dorsal root ganglia, using scanning electron microscopy, after removal of extracellular connective tissue components by trypsin digestion and HC1 hydrolysis.

At 14 days of gestation, the vast majority of neurons are spindle-shaped or bipolar and only 3% are unipolar, while at 16 and 18 days this percentage has increased to 30% and 91%, respectively. The initial portions of the central and peripheral neuronal processes gradually approach each other and form a common initial portion. Finally, the cytoplasm of this common initial portion becomes thinner and elongates to form the stem process of the mature cell.

Satellite cells are present from the beginning of the period studied, but intricate networks of branching satellite cell processes only develop after about day 17.

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Correspondence to Seiji Matsuda.

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Matsuda, S., Uehara, Y. Prenatal development of the rat dorsal root ganglia. Cell Tissue Res. 235, 13–18 (1984).

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Key words

  • Spinal ganglia
  • Pseudounipolarization
  • Satellite cells
  • Histogenesis
  • SEM