The assessment of neuronal plasticity following sciatic nerve injuries in rats using electron microscopy and stereological methods

DELİBAŞ B., Vianney J., Kaplan S.

Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, vol.136, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 136
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2024.102396
  • Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Dorsal root ganglia, Histomorphometry, Nerve fibers, Nerve regeneration, Stereology
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


The transmission of signals to the cell body from injured axons induces significant alterations in primary sensory neurons located in the ganglion tissue, the site of the perikaryon of the affected nerve fibers. Disruption of the continuity between the proximal and distal ends leads to substantial adaptability in ganglion cells and induces macrophage-like activity in the satellite cells. Research findings have demonstrated the plasticity of satellite cells following injury. Satellite cells work together with sensory neurons to extend the interconnected surface area in order to permit effective communication. The dynamic cellular environment within the ganglion undergoes several alterations that ultimately lead to differentiation, transformation, or cell death. In addition to necrotic and apoptotic cell morphology, phenomena such as histomorphometric alterations, including the development of autophagic vacuoles, chromatolysis, cytosolic degeneration, and other changes, are frequently observed in cells following injury. The use of electron microscopic and stereological techniques for assessing ganglia and nerve fibers is considered a gold standard in terms of investigating neuropathic pain models, regenerative therapies, some treatment methods, and quantifying the outcomes of pharmacological and bioengineering interventions. Stereological techniques provide observer-independent and reliable results, which are particularly useful in the quantitative assessment of three-dimensional structures from two-dimensional images. Employing the fractionator and disector techniques within stereological methodologies yields unbiased data when assessing parameters such as number. The fundamental concept underlying these methodologies involves ensuring that each part of the structure under evaluation has an equal opportunity of being sampled. This review describes the stereological and histomorphometric evaluation of dorsal root ganglion neurons and satellite cells following nerve injury models.