OVLT is that part of the terminal plate which is characterized by its rich vascular supply. The brain surface covered by a basement membrane forms deep, cleft-like invaginations containing vessels and connective tissue elements. These connective tissue spaces dividing into 0.1 to 0.2 μ end branches are parts of a labyrinthic system in the interior of the organ. The vessels, mostly of the capillary type, are situated in the main clefts; their endothelium often shows fenestration. Some of the capillaries may approach the ventricle to such an extent that they are separated from it by a single ependymal cell. The supporting apparatus of the OVLT is mainly represented by elongated ependymal cells. Their long basal processes traverse the terminal plate to take part with their foot-like endings in the formation of the brain surface and that of the connective tissue spaces. Groups of special ependymal cells often exhibiting cilia may occur in the interior of the organ. Glial cells are mainly represented by astrocytes. The so-called parenchymal cells described in the light microscopy can be identified as small, primitive neurons. A great part of the nerve fibres in the OVLT contains granulated vesicles the diameter of which varies between 650 and 950 Å. The nerve fibres are mainly running vertically between the ependymal processes while at their terminal portion they assume a parallel course to the ependymal processes and end with them at the margin of the connective tissue spaces. Besides granulated vesicles, these free axon terminals contain numerous synaptic-like vesicles and several mitochondria. Some of the free terminals may occur also on the outer surface of the OVLT. The possible functions of the organ are discussed on the basis of the present findings. The hypothesis is raised that - similarly to the median eminence - humoral controlling factors may be released into the vessels. This hypothesis seems to be supported by the presence of free axon terminals containing granulated and synaptic vesicles and the existence of numerous, partly "fenestrated" capillaries draining the connective tissue spaces.
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||Zeitschrift für Zellforschung und mikroskopische Anatomie|
|Publication status||Published - dec. 1 1969|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology