What is it about?
The interneurons of the cerebellar cortex play a very important role in controlling the activity of Purkinje cells, interacting between mossy fibers, climbing fibers, parallel fibers and Purkinhje cell dendritic spines, dendritic branches, cell body and axonic collaterals. The activity of the interneurons has a profound impact on the harmonious coordination of the cerebellar function. In the present study we attempted to proceed to morphological and morphometric estimation of the alterations of the cerebellar interneurons and their synapses with the Purkinje cells in the molecular layer of the cerebellar cortex in vascular dementia, applying silver impregnation techniques and electron microscopy. Our findings were correlated with normal controls.
Why is it important?
A marked loss of the stellate and basket cells of the cerebellum was noticed in the vermis and the cerebellar hemispheres resulting to marked decrease of the number of synapses with the spines of the Purkinje cell dendrites. In addition impressive morphological alterations of the Purkinje cell dendritic spines were seen mostly in the upper vermis of the cerebellum. Morphological alterations of the organelles were also noticed in stellate cell axon terminals and in Purkinje cell dendritic spines. The presynaptic terminals demonstrated marked polymorphism of synaptic vesicles, large mitochondria and multivesicular bodies. The Purkinje cell dendrites demonstrated low density of spines in the majority of the secondary and tertiary dendritic branches. Most of the spines were study or dilated containing large mitochondria, multivesicular bodies and abnormal spinal apparatus. A substantial loss of synapses between the basket cell axons and the primary dendrites of Purkinje cells was also noticed, associated with a mild astrocytic proliferation and increase of the astrocytic processes in the neuropial space between the basket cells and the soma of Purkinje cells.
The following have contributed to this page: Professor Stavros J Baloyannis