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versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157


TORRES-FERNANDEZ, Orlando. The Golgi silver impregnation method: commemorating the centennial of the Nobel Prize in Medicine (1906) shared by Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Biomédica [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.4, pp.498-508. ISSN 0120-4157.

The Golgi silver impregnation technique is a simple histological procedure that reveals complete three-dimensional neuron morphology. This method is based in the formation of opaque intracellular deposits of silver chromate obtained by the reaction between potassium dichromate and silver nitrate (black reaction). Camillo Golgi, its discoverer, and Santiago Ramón y Cajal its main exponent, shared the Nobel Prize of Medicine and Physiology in 1906 for their contribution to the knowledge of the nervous system structure, Their successes were largely due to the application of the silver impregnation method. However, Golgi and Cajal had different views on the structure of nervous tissue. According to the Reticular Theory, defended by Golgi, the nervous system was formed by a network of cells connected via axons within a syncytium. In contrast, Cajal defended the Neuron Doctrine which maintained that the neurons were indepen-dent cells. In addition, Golgi had used a variant of his "black reaction" to discover the cellular organelle that became known as the Golgi apparatus. Electron microscopy studies confirmed the postulates of the Neuron Doctrine as well as the existence of the Golgi complex and contributed to a resurgence of use of the Golgi stain. Although modern methods of intracellular staining reveal excellent images of neuron morphology, the Golgi technique is an easier and less expensive method for the study of normal and pathological morphology of neurons.

Palavras-chave : neuroanatomy; neurons; histological techniques; Golgi apparatus; history of medicine; Nobel Prize.

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