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Histology of the Nervous System: Nissl

Nissl is a basophilic substance primarily composed of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and proteins in aggregate with rough endoplasmic reticulum. This substance is involved in protein synthesis and cellular metabolism.
Nissl substance can vary in quantity, form, and distribution in different types of neurons. The substance can be lost completely when a neuron is injured. This loss is called chromatolysis.