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J Comp Neurol. 1975 Oct 15;163(4):427-47.

Postnatal development of the cerebellar cortex in the rat. IV. Spatial organization of bipolar cells, parallel fibers and glial palisades.


The ontogeny of the spatial organization of some components of the molecular layer was investigated in cerebella sectioned systematically in the sagittal, coronal and horizontal planes. There is no discernible organization in the distribution of cells of the proliferative zone of the external germinal layer (EGL) but from birth the differentiating bipolar cells of the subproliferative zone are aligned parallel to the surface and to the long axis of the folium. While they are still in or at the base of the EGL, the bipolar cells emit long processes, the future parallel fibers. The next step is the outgrowth of a vertical process which may reach the base of the molecular layer before the granule cell nucleus becomes translocated. The idea that the cell body truly migrates through the molecular layer is not supported by the observations. Bergmann glia cells are frequently seen in Golgi material in neonates but they are probably less numerous than in older infants and their processes are not as well aligned. It is only gradually that the EGL is perforated by flial endfeet which in older infants are occasionally organized into longitudinal rows. In mature cerebella the parallel fibers are separated by thin and relatively narrow, unstained spaces which are oriented in the longitudinal plane and can be traced from the pial surface to a zone just above the layer of Purkinje cells. It is postulated that these spaces are occupied by glial palisades formed by apposed thin vertical processes to which many Bergmann glia cells contribute. The alignment of these palisades is dependent on the orientation of parallel fibers. When the parallel fibers are reoriented by X-irradiation the glial palisades become correspondingly realigned. These observation indicate that the oriented growth of parallel fibers, which follows the polarization of bipolar cells, determines the spatial organization of the glial framework of the molecular layer. They also suggest that the glial palisades mediate functions that are not primarily developmental in nature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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