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Satellite Cells – Location, Structure, and Function

  • Satellite cells are small, flattened cells found in the ganglia of the peripheral nervous system (ganglion = collection of cell bodies).
  • Researchers have yet to determine the specific functions of satellite cells, but it is generally assumed that they help regulate and stabilize the environment around ganglion cell bodies.
  • The image descriptiondorsal root ganglia located on either side of the spinal cord contain the most prominent satellite cells.
An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal ganglion
An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal root ganglion
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  • Inside the ganglia are the spherical image descriptioncell bodies of unipolar sensory neurons. Each cell body is fully enclosed by it own sheath of supportive satellite cells. Each cell body is fully enclosed by it own sheath of supportive image descriptionsatellite cells.
An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal root ganglion
An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal root ganglion and cell bodies of the satellite cells magnified
An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal root ganglion and cell bodies of the satellite cells magnified
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  • Satellite cells also surround the multipolar neuron cells bodies found in the sympathetic and┬áparasympathetic ganglia.
  • However, the dendritic processes prevent the satellite cells from completely enveloping the cell bodies.
An image of a Light micrograph of unipolar neuron cell bodies & satellite cells without labeles
An image of a Light micrograph of unipolar neuron cell bodies & satellite cells labeled.
Light micrograph of unipolar neuron cell bodies & satellite cells.
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Overview:

An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal root ganglion and cell bodies of the satellite cells magnified without labels
An image of the spinal cord segment showing the dorsal root ganglion and cell bodies of the satellite cells magnified labeled
An image of a Light micrograph of unipolar neuron cell bodies & satellite cells without labeles
An image of a Light micrograph of unipolar neuron cell bodies & satellite cells labeled.
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