Tag Archives: Thomas Deerinck


The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing. It is a limbic system structure that is particularly important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, to memories. The hippocampus is a horseshoe shaped paired structure, with one hippocampus located in the left brain hemisphere and the other in the right hemisphere. The hippocampus acts as a memory indexer by sending memories out to the appropriate part of the cerebral hemisphere for long-term storage and retrieving them when necessary. (from  biology.about.com link)

Image Source: post-mitotic tumblr (link).   credit: Thomas Deerinck

fluorescently-labelled hippocampus

from Greek hippos, meaning “horse” and kampos, meaning “sea monster”, compliments of Venetian anatomist Julius Aranzi and his penchant for seeing the forms of sea creatures in brain ultrastructure. 

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Glial Cells

Glial cells, sometimes called neuroglia, are non-neuronal cells that maintain homeostasis, form myelin, and provide support and protection for neurons in the brain, and for neurons in other parts of the nervous system such as in the autonomic nervous system. (adapted from wikipedia)

Image by Thomas Deerinck, UCSD.  Glial cells 400x.   Technique: 2-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy

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While the epidermis of mammalian skin contains primarily kerotinocytes, the dermis is composed largely of fibroblasts. The dermis is a type of connective tissue, and fibroblasts produce the two major structural components of its extracellular matrix: collagen fibers, which give the dermis strength and traction; and, elastin, which make the dermis stretchable and flexible. Unlike epithelial cells, fibroblasts do not form flat, monolayers but rather can migrate around the extracellular matrix. Thus, while epithelial cells line the body, fibroblasts are the ones to “sculpt it.” (by Tom Deerinck)Image from cell.com (link)  Image from Tom Deerinc, NCMIR and UCSD

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Myelinated Axons SEM

The main purpose of a myelin layer (or sheath) is to increase the speed at which impulsespropagate along the myelinated fiber. Along unmyelinated fibers, impulses move continuously as waves, but in myelinated fibers, they hop or “propagate by saltation.” Myelin decreases capacitance across the cell membrane, and increases electrical resistance. Thus, myelination helps prevent the electrical current from leaving the axon. (from wikipedia)
Image from 2012 National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research. Image by Thomas Deerinck.

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