Ultrastructural changes in the Nucleoplasm of Hamster Facial Neurons during a postnatal maturation period

Kathryn J. Jones, Arthur Lavelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Changes in the characteristics of the nucleoplasm were examined in young hamster facial motoneurons of 15 and 20 days postnatal age and in the adult (100 days postnatal age) at both the light and electron microscope levels. In toluidine-blue stained 1-μm thick sections, a progressive increase in basophilic islands within the nucleoplasm occurred during maturation. Ultrastructural changes that were observed during final development included a transition from a homogeneous, 'filled-in' appearing nucleoplasm to a clumped-appearing nucleoplasm. This process principally involved the formation of distinct clusters of interchromatin granules that was associated with a loss of fine fibrils, an increase in clear spaces between intervening fibrillar and granular material, and an increase in small scattered clumps of heterochromatin. These changes in both ribonucleoprotein (RNP)- and DNA-containing nuclear constituents (interchromatin granules and heterochromatin, respectively) occurred during a postnatal maturational period previously demonstrated to involve other alterations in nuclear structures. It is interpreted that these cytomorphic changes in the nucleoplasm reflect an underlying metabolic shift at the transcriptional level during the transition from an actively growing neuron to an adult functioning neuron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • chromatin
  • development
  • facial neuron
  • interchromatin granule
  • nucleoplasm
  • ribonucleoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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