Spindle Neuron

Spindle Neuron

Spindle neurons, also called von Economo neurons (VENs), are a specific class of neurons that are characterized by a large spindle-shaped soma, gradually tapering into a single apical axon in one direction, with only a single dendrite facing opposite. Whereas other types of cells tend to have many dendrites, the polar shaped morphology of spindle neurons is unique. They are found in two very restricted regions in the brains of hominids – the family of species comprising humans and other great apes – the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the fronto-insular cortex (FI). Recently they have been discovered in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of humans. Spindle cells are also found in the brains of the humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales, sperm whales, bottlenose dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, beluga whales, and the African and Asian elephants. The name von Economo neuron comes from their discoverer, Constantin von Economo (1876–1931) who described them in 1929.

Read more about Spindle Neuron:  Function of Spindle Neurons, Evolutionary Significance, ACC Spindle Neurons, Fronto-insular Spindle Neurons, Related Pathologies

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Spindle Neuron - Related Pathologies
... Abnormal spindle neuron development may be linked to several psychotic disorders, typically those characterized by distortions of reality, disturbances of ... Altered spindle neuron states have been implicated in both schizophrenia and autism, but research into these correlations remains at a very early stage ... disease specifically targeted Von Economo neurons, however, this study was performed with end-stage Alzheimer brains in which cell destruction was widespread ...