The perikaryal surface of spinal ganglion neurons: Differences between domains in contact with satellite cells and in contact with the extracellular matrix

Ennio Pannese, Patrizia Procacci, Emilio Berti, Maria Ledda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The perikaryal surface of spinal ganglion neurons undergoes dynamic changes throughout life. In particular, numerous slender projections develop and retract continuously from this surface. We showed previously that the outgrowth of these projections, while an intrinsic property of spinal ganglion neurons, is also influenced by the surrounding microenvironment. Since the latter consists of satellite cells and the extracellular matrix, we sought to determine the relative contributions of each of these components to the outgrowth of perikaryal projections. To this end, we took advantage of a little known characteristic of the satellite cell sheaths: in the rabbit, these sheaths can exhibit gaps that leave the nerve cell body surface directly exposed to the extracellular matrix. We compared the surface domains covered by satellite cells with those in direct contact with the extracellular matrix. We found that the perikaryal projections are abundant in the former domains but are absent in the latter. We also found that the perineuronal extracellular matrix of rabbit spinal ganglia contains laminin and fibronectin, two glycoproteins that have been reported to promote the growth of axonal processes from sensory ganglion neurons. Laminin and fibronectin were also present at the level of the gaps in the satellite cell sheath. These results: (1) provide additional evidence that environmental factors influence the outgrowth of perikaryal projections from spinal ganglion neurons; (2) suggest that satellite cells permit the outgrowth of these projections; (3) suggest that in the spinal ganglia of adult rabbits the perineuronal extracellular matrix is not in itself able to promote the outgrowth of these projections. This study provides a further example of the influence that supporting neuroglial cells have on sensory ganglion neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Volume199
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Fibronectin
  • Laminin
  • Neuron-glia interactions
  • Peripheral neuroglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Anatomy
  • Embryology

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