A biochemically distinct sub-population of neurons in the human substantia gelatinosa. Study with G-6-PD histochemistry

Bruce A. Beutler, Kari Stefansson, Barry G W Arnason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A method for localization of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD; d-glucose-6-phosphate: NADP+ oxidoreductase; E.C. activity has been applied to human nervous tissue. Intensely staining cells, not definable by conventional histologic techniques, have been identified in the human spinal cord, with highest numbers present in the substantia gelatinosa of the sacral region. The cells have a neuron-like morphology and express neuronal-specific antigen but are heterogeneous in size and shape. They are not detectable in infant spinal cord, but stain heavily in adults. We propose that these cells are homologous to the G-6-PD-active dorsal medullary cells first noted by Sakharova et al. (1979) and together with the latter group, may comprise a hitherto unrecognized system of neurons in the human central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982



  • Central nervous system
  • Development
  • Maturation
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurohistology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this