A Morphological Examination of Neurons in the Pars Lateralis and Pars Reticulata of the Substantia Nigra of the Opossum
Dunst, Annette T.
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The Golgi and Nissl techniques were used to examine the somata, dendritic morphology and extent, and initial axonal orientation of neurons in the pars reticulata and pars lateralis of the opossum, (Marsupialis virginianis). Large, medium and small neurons were described based on soma size and morphology and extent of dendrites. While the neurons of the pars reticulata cannot be distinguished from those of the pars lateralis based on morphology alone, the location and frequency of neuron types from rostral to caudal extent of the nigra varies characteristically for both areas. Based on, as yet unpublished data, small neurons are assumed to be interneurons of some kind, medium neurons are thought, to project their axons to the striatum (from the pars compacta), the tectum or the thalamus, and large neurons are thought to send their axons to the tectum.