Fine structure of neuronal and glial processes in neuropathology

Asao Hirano, Josefina Llena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The cells of the nervous system are characterized by their well-formed cell processes and by cell-to-cell relationships that they form. The neuron reveals essentially cylindrical processes, which form synaptic junctions. On the other hand, the peripheral parts of the glial cells are mainly sheet-like in nature. Thus, the oligodendroglial cell elaborates many sheet-like processes, each of which forms a segment of the myelin sheath. Unique cell junction, transverse bands are present at the interface of oligodendroglial processes and the axon. Finally, the astrocytes also form elaborate sheet-like processes, which separate most of the CNS from the mesodermal tissue as well as surrounding certain neuronal surfaces, including synapses. Punctate adhesions, gap junctions and other adhesive devices are present between astrocytic processes. Defects or anomalies in the neuronal and glial cell processes characterize numerous pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Astrocyte
  • Myelin
  • Neuron
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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