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Neuronal morphology of nucleus accumbens-drug addicted brain region


Nucleus accumbens is highly drug addicted brain region, related with many others.

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The morphology of neurons in the nucleus accumbens was studied on frontal and sagital sections of 15 human brains by Golgi method.


We classified these neurons in the human nucleus accumbens, according to their morphology and size into four types: Type I a – fusiform neurons, Type I b subtype – fusiform neurons with lateral dendrite, Type II multipolar neurons, Type III-piriform neurons and Type IV pyramidal-like neuron.


Two regions of human nucleus accumbens could be clearly recognized on Golgi preparations each containing different predominant neuronal types. Central part of nucleus accumbens, core, had a low density of impregnated neurons with predominant type IV pyramidal-like neurons enriched with spines on secondary branches. Contrary to the core, peripheral regions, shell of nucleus, had a high density of impregnated neurons predominantly contained types I (both subtypes of fusiform), and type III (piriform) neurons, which all were rich in spines on secondary and third dendrite branches. Our results indicated great morphological variability of human nucleus accumbens neurons and their phylogenetically developing potential. This suggests further investigations and clarifying clinical significance of this important brain region in drug addiction.

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Tosevski, J., Malobabic, S., Orologas, A. et al. Neuronal morphology of nucleus accumbens-drug addicted brain region. Ann Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2 (Suppl 1), S155 (2003).

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