Slide #DMS 093 [Sympathetic ganglion]. Lysosomes are enzyme-rich organelles. In most instances, these require specific histochemical or immunochemical techniques to demonstrate their distribution in the cell. In long-lived cells (e.g. muscle cells, neurons), the end products of lysosomal digestion are stored in defunct lysosomal compartments known as residual bodies. At the light microscopic level, collections of these residual bodies can be seen and are termed lipofuchsin pigment or "wear & tear" pigment. Examine the ganglionic neurons in this slide. These neurons are the largest cells found in the section, and their cytoplasm is littered with the brownish-staining lipofuchsin. This intrcellular waste material is also often seen in cardiac muscle cells.
Defunct lysosomes may collect in the cytoplasm of long-lived cells and be seen as lipofuscin or "wear & tear" pigment. Identify the large neurons in this medium power section through an autonomic ganglion. Note the collection of brownish pigment in their cytoplasm, seen to better effect in the next slide.
With oil immersion, the lipofuscin or wear & tear pigment within the cytoplasm of this neuron is readily seen. Note again the large nucleus and prominent nucleolus typical of this cell type.
Lipofuchsin can be seen in many neurons. this is an example from a low Magnification electron micrograph of the celebral cortex.
To the left is the cell body of a neuron, showing: 1 = its nucleus; 2 = lysosome-like bodies in the cytoplasm (lipofuchsin). Also identified are: 3 = myelinated nerve fibers; 4 = dendrites; 5 = dendritic spines which are making contact with axon terminals at synapses. X6,600.