A. TORVIK Laboratory of Neuropathology, Ulleval Hospital, Oslo 1, Norway The term âchromatolysisâ means loss of stainable substance and as used in neuropathology it designates a decreased basophilia of the neuronal cytoplasm due to disruption of the Nissl substance. Central chromatolysis (i.e. decreased basophilia of the perinuclear part of the cytoplasm) is often a prominent feature after axon lesions and the term is, therefore, often used more loosely for the morphological changes in nerve cell bodies after axotomy. This is somewhat unfortunate because these changes vary considerably and chromatolysis may sometimes be lacking altogether. The non-committal terms âaxon reactionâ and âretrograde reactionâ may therefore be more appropriate designations for these changes, while the word âchromatolysisâ should be reserved exclusively for a decreased cytoplasmic basophilia. Axotomy usually removes a considerable part of the nerve cell cytoplasm while most of the synthetic apparatus of the cell is left intact, and the later regeneration of the axon is brought about through internal reorganization of this apparatus. Axotomy is therefore a unique model for studying the general aspects of both cellular reorganization and regeneration. Traditionally, chromatolysis has been thought to represent part of this internal cellular remodelling. However, as I shall discuss
Neuropathology & Applied Neurobiology – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1976
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