2006 年 68 巻 10 号 p. 1081-1087
The glycogen body (GB) is in the dorsal area of the lumbosacral spinal cord in birds and is composed of uniform cells characterized by high glycogen storage. The glycogen of GB cells remains unchanged in vivo by the effects of a variety of hormones such as insulin, glucagon, adrenocorticotropic hormone and by physiological conditions such as starvation. In order to investigate the latent functionability of GB cells, we observed morphological changes of glycogen body cells in a co-culture system with cerebellar neurons by light and transmission electron microscopy. Cultured GB cells were labeled with 1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI). The cultured neurons derived from cerebellum were co-cultured with the labeled GB cells. Under the co-culture with neurons, 2 types of GB cells were detected. One was conventional with numerous glycogen deposits in the cytoplasm and tended to make clusters. The other type of GB cells singly extended the processes attaching to the neuronal body and axons. In the axons in contact with GB cell processes, small vesicles appearing as synaptic vesicles were observed. These observations suggested that some GB cells can differentiate to an average astrocyte. The GB cells were assumed to involve the synapse formation or maturing as astrocytes in the CNS.