• Course Information
  • Introduction
    • Basics of Neurohistology
      30 min
  • Cerebellum
  • Cerebrum
  • Spinal Cord
  • Inner ear
  • Eye & Eyelid
  • Final Exams



Cerebellum — Introduction

In the cerebellum, much like the rest of the brain, the gray matter (cell bodies) is located outside while the white matter (nerve fibers) is on the inside.

  • When we cut the cerebellum, we refer to its shape as folium (from Latin — leaf).

The basic composition of the cerebellum — University of Michigan — CC NP-SA 3.0

When we look at the histological composition of the cerebellum, we can divide it into three layers:

  • Meninges (more information on the Meninges lesson) — Outermost layer
  • Gray matter — or cortex
    • Consisting of two to three distinct layers — Molecular, Purkinje and granular layers
      • Some sources state the Purkinje cells are located at a distinct cell layer (an additional layer between the Molecular and Granular layers), most sources refer to it as part of the molecular layer
  • White matter — or medulla (and sometimes “lamina alba”) — Nerve fibers

Cerebellar cell population

Within the cortex of the cerebellum, just like in the rest of the brain, several types of neuron cells are present.

  • Generally, they all have different functions within the cerebellum (which we will discuss in the next lesson)
  • In standard H&E slides, only Purkinje cells are clearly distinguishable

Apart from neurons, the cerebellum is packed full with neuroglial cells — these are the same neuroglial cells of the CNS we’ve covered before, with additional types that can be identified in sections of the cerebellum:

Bergmann glial cells

  • Also known as radial epithelial cells
  • During the development of the cerebellum, they assist the migration of Purkinje and Granular cells
  • Function similarly to astrocytes
  • Respond to cerebellar damage (gliosis — proliferation and formation of glial scar)

Layers of the cerebellum — University of Michigan — CC NP-SA 3.0

Bergmann cell processes — University of Michigan — CC NP-SA 3.0

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