In the rostral hypothalamus of the domestic fowl, the magnocellular neurosecretory nuclei show a peculiar differentiation. Golgi studies of the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the fowl reveal at least two major cell types: 1) large multipolar neurons, and 2) small interneurons. Golgi impregnations provide a detailed cytoarchitectural picture of the large-sized cells; the latter may well correspond to the neurosecretory cells demonstrated in the same regions by selective staining, and immunocytochemical and electron microscopical techniques. Electron microscopically, neuronal perikarya are observed to contain variable amounts of neurosecretory granules (100-200 nm in diameter; mean diameter of 160 nm) scattered throughout the cytoplasm. The diameters of these granules do not differ statistically in the two principal nuclear areas examined. The perikarya of these neurons display only a few axosomatic synapses containing electron-lucent and dense-cored vesicles (70-90 nm in diameter). Numerous nerve terminals of this type also end on the dendritic ramifications in the surrounding neuropil.
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