Ultrastructure of the Lamellated Cytoplasmic Inclusions in Schwann Cells of the Marine Nematode, Deontostoma californicum


  • I. A. Siddiqui
  • D. R. Viglierchio


Electron microscopy of the photoreceptors in the marine nematode, Deontostoma californicum, revealed numerous lamellated inclusions in the Schwann cells ensheathing the lateral cephalic nerves. Immediately after the axons from the modified bipolar neurons of the photoreceptors enter the lateral nerves, these spherical-to-oval lamellated bodies are observed in the surrounding Schwann cell cytoplasm. These previously undescribed Schwann cell inclusions, approximately 500 nm long and 320 nm in diameter, are lamellated and characterized by the presence of an electron-dense stalk-like process, 80-280 nm long. The lamellated inclusions are bound by a single limiting membrane, 6-7 nm thick, which shows occasional interruptions. The internal structure of the inclusions is characterized by the presence of electron-dense lamellae or bands, 11-16 nm thick, which assume various complex patterns ranging from arrays of parallel linear densities to a reticulate appearance. In addition, the nematode Schwann cell cytoplasm contains the usual organelles, gliosome- and lysosome-like inclusions. Their relationship with lipofuscin pigments is briefly discussed. Key Word: Neuroglia.