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Alya Amila Fitrie , Radita N.A.

Ginting, Zulham Department of Histology Medical Faculty University of Sumatera Utara

Nerve Tissue & Nervous System

1. 2. 3. 4. Histology of Nerve Tissue Histology of Central nervous System Histology of Peripheral Nervous System Nerve Regeneration


Cells of Nervous System

Neurons : receptive, integrative and motor function of the nervous system

Neuroglial cells : supporting & protecting neurons

Cell body/perikaryon /soma



Cell body
Cell body : contains of nucleus, surrounding cytoplasma, exclusive of the cell processes.
Ultrastructure of a neuronal cell
body. (From Lentz TL: Cell Fine Structure: An Atlas of Drawings of Whole-Cell Structure. Philadelphia, WB Saunders, 1971.)

Function : trophic center, receptive capabilities. Rough endoplasmic reticulum : highly developed parallel cysternae. Between the cysternae polyribosomes. This cysternae + polyribosomes with appropriate stains basophilic granular areas, called Nissl bodies.

Mitochondria >>> in the axon terminal

Main types of neurons

1. Multipolar : most neuron of body 2. Bipolar : cochlear & vestibular ganglia, retina & olfactory mucosa 3. Pseudounipolar : spinal ganglia

Special types of neuron

Glial cells : 10 times abundant than neurons

Glial cells surround both cell bodies and their processes that occupy the interneuronal space

Oligoden drocytes


Schwann cells

Ependymal cells


Oligodendrocytes & Schwann cell

Oligodendrocyte : Produces the myelin sheath that provides the electrical insulation of neurons in CNS Schwann Cell : Produce a myelin sheath that located around axons in PNS

Star-shaped cells with multiple radiating processes

Astrocytes bind neuron to capillaries and to the piamater.

Astrocytes with few long processes and located in the white matter fibrous astrocytes Astrocytes with many short-branched processes and located in the grey matter protoplasmic astrocytes

Ependymal cells & Microglia

Ependymal cells : cuboidal or low columnar epithelial cells, lining the ventricles of the brain and central canal of the spinal cord. Microglia : small elongated cells with short irregular processes.


Central Nervous System


Cerebellum Spinal cord

Neuron types in the cerebral cortex: 1. Pyramidal cells 2. Stellate (granul cells) 3. Cells of Martinotti 4. Fusiform cells 5. Horizontal cells of Cajal

Cerebrum (cont..)

1.Gray Matter / cerebral cortex:

a. Plexiform (molecular) layer

b. Outer granular layer

c. Pyramidal cell layer d. Inner granular layer e. Ganglionic layer f. Multiform cell layer 2.White matter

Function : coordinates muscular activity and maintain posture & equilibrium. Consist of : 1. Gray matter : Molecular layer Purkinje cell layer

Granular layer
2. White matter

Cerebellum (cont..)

Spinal Cord
Consist of : 1. White matter, in the outer 2. Grey matter, has the shape of butterfly

Consists of 3 layer :

1. Dura mater : composed of dense connective tissue, continuous with the periosteum of the skull.
2. Arachnoid : has 2 component : A layer in contact to dura mater A system of trabeculae 3. Pia mater : loose connective tissue containing many blood vessels

Blood-Brain Barrier
BBB, a functional barrier, prevents the passage of some substances, from the blood to the nerve tissue. Supported by :
1. Occluding junction between endothelial cells of blood capillaries of nerve tissue. 2. The expansion of neuroglial cells processes that envelop the capillaries.

B l o o d b r a I n


Choroid Plexus & Cerebrospinal Fluid

CP, composed of loose connective tissue of the piamater, covered by simple cuboidal or low columnar epithelium. Function of CP is to elaborate CSF, that fills ventricles, central canal of spinal cord, subarachnoid space & perivascular space. CSF is clear,low density, & very low in protein content.

Spinal cord
Subarachnoid space

Perivascular space


Peripheral Nervous System

Nerve fibers
Ganglia Nerve endings

Nerve fibers
Consist of axons enveloped by a special sheath derived from cells of ectodermal origin. The sheath cell of
PNS Schwann cell CNS oligodendrocyte

Axon of small diameter unmyelinated nerve fibers Thicker axons myelinated nerve fibers

Nerve fibers
E : epineurim P : perineurium F : fasiculus V : blood vessels

Nerve fibers

Nerve fiber

Nerve fibers
Electron microscope of a peripheral nerve containing both myelinated (M) and unmyelinated (U) nerve fibers.

Ultrastructural features of myelinated & unmyelinated nerve fiber

1. Nucleus & cytoplasm of a Schwann cell
2. Axon 3. Microtubule 4. Neurofilament 5. Myelin sheath 6. Mesaxon 7. Node of Ranvier 8. Interdigitating processes of Schwann cells at the node of Ranvier 9. Side view of an unmyelinated axon 10. Basal lamina

Ganglia are ovoid structures containing neuronal cell bodies and glial cells supported by connective tissue. They serve as relay stations to transmit nerve impulses. There are Sensory ganglia & Autonomic ganglia.

Sensory Ganglia
Receive afferent impulses that go to CNS. Two types :
Cranial ganglia : associated with cranial nerves. Spinal ganglia : associated with the dorsal root of the spinal nerves.

Large neuronal cell bodies with prominent fine Nissl bodies surrounded by abundant small glial cells called satellite cells.

Autonomic Ganglia
Appear as bulbous dilatation in autonomic nerves. Usually have multipolar neurons. Have neuronal perikaryons with fine Nissl bodies. Enveloped by satellite cells.

Autonomic Nervous System

ANS related to the control of smooth muscle, the secretion of some glands & modulation of cardiac rhythm. ANS are organized & regulated in the CNS. Anatomically, ANS composed of :
collection of nerve cell located in CNS fibers that leave the CNS through cranial or spinal nerves. nerve ganglia situated in the paths of these fibers.

Consist of : Sympathetic & Parasympathetic System

The Nuclei of ANS

Sympathetic System : collection of nerve cell bodies (nuclei) located in the thoracic & lumbar segments of the spinal cord thoracolumbar division of ANS Parasympathetic System : nuclei in the medulla and midbrain & sacral position of the spinal cord craniosacral division of ANS

Nerve Regeneration

Nerve Regeneration
Nerve cell (neuron) : no regeneration if soma or dendrites injured. But, nerve fiber injured : regeneration (+)
Neuroglia of CNS, Schwann cell & ganglionic satellite cells of PNS : able to divide by mitosis regeneration.

Degeneration & regeneration of peripheral nerve