Complexity of the frog intracardiac neurons. Intracellular injection study
Keywords: heart, ganglion, cytology, nerve, dendrites, axon
AbstractThe goal of this study was to determine the structure of intracardiac neurons in the frog Rana temporaria. Fifty-six intracardiac neurons from 8 animals were labelled ionophoretically by the intracellular markers AlexaFluor 586 and Lucifer Yellow CH. Among the labelled neurons, we found the cells of unipolar, bipolar, multipolar and pseudounipolar types. Multiple neuronal processes originated from the soma, the axon hillock and the initial segment of axon. With respect to the soma, the neuron contained (Mean ± SE) 3.5 ± 0.3 long and 5.5 ± 0.6 short processes. Most neurons had the spine, the bubble or the flake like extensions on their soma surface and were classified as Golgi I typeneurons. Few Golgi II type neurons, the presumptive interneurons, were also found. Our findings contradict to a general view that the frog intracardiac ganglia contain only the adendritic neurons of the unipolar type. Our findings demonstrate that the frog intracardiac neurons are structurally complex and diverse. This diversity may account for the complicated integrative functions of the frog intrinsic cardiac ganglia.