During the 23 years since the first Reinhardsbrunn conference on the subcommissural organ (SCO) we have learned very much about this system, mainly concerning the fine-structural and biochemical mechanisms responsible for the elaboration of Reissner’s fiber (RF) in the rat and some other mammals. However, it seems to me that we are not any closer to a basic understanding of the entire RF mechanism of chordates in its diversity than we were in 1968. However, several lectures presented at this meeting have shown that we are at least on the right path towards a better idea of these enigmatic structures and processes. Thus, let us now use the time available for an analysis of those problems that could not be discussed thoroughly after the respective lectures due to time limitation. In case enough time is left, I would also like to initiate an even wild and speculative discussion on possible functions of the RF system. The survey lectures by Drs. Leonhardt and Krisch dealt with the peculiar position and the neighborhood relationships of the SCO, and they gave the impression that the SCO is a rather strange member in this assembly. Could this be because it phylogenetically does not belong to that brain region, as I speculated in my lecture?
KeywordsSerotonin Retina Melatonin Methenamine
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