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Hippocampus of the Rat

by John C. Fiala and Josef Spacek

Figure 3.
Staining a brain section with cresyl violet reveals more structure (Figure 3). The Nissl substance (rough endoplasmic reticulum) is darkly-stained by cresyl violet, hence the term Nissl stain. In Nissl-stained sections the cell bodies of neurons, which contain a lot of rough endoplasmic reticulum, appear as dark granules at low magnification.

The pattern of granular and molecular layers within the hippocampal formation is clearer at higher magnification (Figure 4). Dendrites extending from the dark cell bodies fill the light violet regions, the neuropil, where they make numerous synaptic connections with axons.

Figure 4.

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Last Updated: 12/11/01