Morphological transformation of sensory ganglion neurons and satellite cells

Seiji Matsuda, Naoto Kobayashi, Katsumi Mominoki, Hiroyuki Wakisaka, Masahiko Mori, Shingo Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sensory ganglion neurons in higher vertebrates are unique in that they are pseudounipolar with a single stem process that divides at some distance from the cell body into central and peripheral processes. In the early stages of development, these neurons are bipolar but later they became pseudounipolar. This developmental process of sensory ganglion neurons with satellite cells was examined by scanning electron microscopy following removal of connective tissue. This pseudo-unipolarization began earlier but proceeded at a slower rate in chick than in rat embryos. This difference may due to the difference found in the extent and intimacy of satellite cell investments in these two animals, which was due to the fact that sensory neurons undergo pseudo-unipolarization only in the presence of satellite cells in vitro. The neuronal perikaryal projections were observed by scanning electron microscopy after removal of connective tissue and satellite cells. Morphometric analysis revealed that perikaryal projections were more numerous on the surface of mature pseudounipolar neurons than on the surface of premature bipolar neurons, and that the number of projections increased as the neuronal cell bodies grew larger. This may support the hypothesis that perikaryal projections are structural devices for increasing the neuron-satellite interface and for improving the efficiency of metabolic exchange between these two cell types. These results suggest that satellite cells play an important role in neuronal maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-613
Number of pages2
JournalActa Anatomica Nipponica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Metabolic exchange of neurons
  • Perikaryal projection
  • Pseudo-unipolarization
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Sensory neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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