The importance of synaptic connections for the normal maintenance of neurons was first noted by Warrington, who showed that sectioning of the dorsal roots in the cat and in the monkey produces transynaptic degeneration of cells in Clarke's column and in anterior horn motor cells in the spinal cord.31,32 Chromatolyzed cells were also found in the unoperated contralateral side of the spinal cord. A clearer demonstration of transynaptic degeneration (transneuronal atrophy) was provided by Minkowski, in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus following removal of an eye.25 The mammalian lateral geniculate nucleus provides a good experimental locale for the study of this phenomenon, since definite changes occur early. It has been the subject of numerous studies delineating the time course of changes and variations with species and age.9,13,16,24,26,10Many other central nervous system nuclei have been studied as well, in adult and fetal animals and in man.
GAY AJ, SILBERBERG DH. Histochemical Correlates Of Transynaptic Degeneration: Studies in the Monkey Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Arch Neurol. 1964;10(1):85–90. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460130089012
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