Sensory ganglia comprise functional units built up by neurons and satellite glial cells (SGCs). In animal species there was proven the presence of neuronoglial progenitor cells in adult samples. Such neural crest-derived progenitors were found in immunohistochemistry (IHC). These findings were not previously documented in transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was thus aimed to assess in TEM if cells of the human adult trigeminal ganglion indeed have ultrastructural features to qualify for a progenitor, or quiescent phenotype. Trigeminal ganglia were obtained from fifteen adult donor cadavers. In TEM, cells with heterochromatic nuclei, a pancytoplasmic content of free ribosomes, few perinuclear mitochondria, poor developed endoplasmic reticulum, lack of Golgi complexes and membrane trafficking specializations, were found included in the neuronal envelopes built-up by SGCs. The ultrastructural pattern was strongly suggestive for these cells being quiescent progenitors. However, further experiments should correlate the morphologic and immune phenotypes of such cells.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.