The Nucleus Basalis of Meynert of the Human Brain: A Golgi and Electron Microscope Study

Stavros J. Baloyannis, Vasiliki Costa, Demetrios Psaroulis, Lazaros Arzoglou, Maria Papasotiriou
  • International Journal of Neuroscience, January 1994, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.3109/00207459408986043

The Nucleus Basalis of Meynert of the Human Brain

What is it about?

The nucleus basalis of Meynert of normal brains, aged from 15 to 73 years was studied in Golgi preparations and in electron microscopy. The nucleus is composed of large triangular, polyhedral and bipolar cells which are intermixed with numerous small or medium-sized spiny neurons. All of the neurons form a dense three dimensional dendritic arborization, with numerous secondary and tertiary dendritic branches studded with spines. The ultra-structural analysis revealed numerous axodendritic and axosomatic synapses between the spiny neurons and the large triangular and polyhedral neurons. The presynaptic axonic profiles are plenty of ellipsoid and round synaptic vesicles. Large presynaptic terminals are seen frequently surrounded by numerous dendritic spines forming synaptic glomeruli, in all the areas of the nucleus basalis of Meynert. An age depended decrease of the number of neurons was noticed affecting mainly the population of the spiny neurons. Although in senile and presenile dementias an impressive loss of the cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis was reported, in normal aging the large cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis seems to be intact, whereas the medium and small shaped spiny neurons are decreased in number suggesting that the GABA-ergic neurons are principally affected.

Why is it important?

An age depended decrease of the number of neurons was noticed affecting mainly the population of the spiny neurons. Although in senile and presenile dementias an impressive loss of the cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis was reported, in normal aging the large cholinergic neurons of the nucleus basalis seems to be intact

Perspectives

Professor Stavros J Baloyannis (Author)
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Small shaped spiny neurons of Meynert' s nucleus are decreased in number in ageing suggesting that the GABA-ergic neurons are principally affected

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/00207459408986043

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Stavros J Baloyannis