Josef Spacek

Josef Spacek, MUDr., DrSc., FRMS
Professor of Pathology
Charles University Prague
University Hospital
Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Research Interests:

Dr. Spacek has done research in neurobiological systems for more than fifty years. Although he studied medicine and is specialized in surgical pathology and diagnostic electron microscopy, he has been keenly interested in neurological ultrastructure and three-dimensional reconstruction since his days as a medical student. In 1971 he published "Three-dimensional reconstructions of astroglia and oligodendroglia cells" in Z. Zellforsch, which was among the first reconstructions of neural ultrastructure.

His career has included fellowships in the laboratory of Prof. E. G. Gray (University College, London), a collaboration with Prof. A. R. Lieberman, serving as the longstanding Dean of University College, London, and serving as Editor of the Journal of Neurocytology. For more than twenty five years he has collaborated with Prof. Kristen Harris. This collaboration has produced significant insights into the three-dimensional organization of neural components.

Selected Publications:

  • Spacek J, Harris KM. (1998) Three-Dimensional Organization of Cell Adhesion Junctions at Synapses and Dendritic Spines in Area CA1 of the Rat Hippocampus. J. Comp. Neurol. 393:58-68. (PDF)
  • Spacek J, Harris KM. (1997) Three-Dimensional Organization of Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum in Hippocampal CA1 Dendrites and Dendritic Spines of the Immature and Mature Rat. J.Neurosci. 17 (1):190-203. (PDF)
  • J. Spacek (1982) Ribosome-associated Membrane Contacts Between Astrocytes In Anoxic Brain. Acta Neuropathol (Berl). 57:270-274. (PDF)

Additional Publications:

  • Spacek J. Three-dimensional reconstructions of astroglia and oligodendroglia cells. Z. Zellforsch. mikr. Anat. 1971, 112:430-442.
  • Spacek J, Lieberman AR. Spine-like astrocytic protrusions into large axon terminals. Z. Zellforsch. mikr. Anat. 1971, 115:494-500
  • Spacek J, Parizek J, Lieberman AR. Golgi cells, granule cells and synaptic glomeruli in the molecular layer of the rabbit cerebellar cortex. J. Neurocytol. 1973, 2:407-428
  • Spacek J, Lieberman AR. Ultrastructure and three-dimensional organization of synaptic glomeruli in rat somatosensory thalamus. J. Anat. (Lond.) 1974, 117:487-515
  • Spacek J, Lieberman AR. Three-dimensional reconstruction in electron microscopy of the central nervous system. Sbor.ved. praci Hradec Kralove 1974, 17:203-222.
  • Spacek J, Lieberman AR. Relationships between mitochondrial outer membranes and agranular reticulum in nervous tissue. Ultrastructural observations and a new interpretation. J. Cell Sci. 1980, 46:129-147
  • Spacek J, Lieberman AR. The presence and possible significance of agranular endoplasmatic reticulum in paranodal oligodendrocyte cytoplasm and in periglomerular astrocyte processes. Brain Res. 1980, 196:498-501
  • Spacek J. "Free" postsynaptic-like densities in normal adult brain: their occurrence, distribution, structure and association with subsurface cisterns. J. Neurocytol. 1982, 11:693-706
  • Spacek J, Hartmann M. Three-dimensional analysis of dendritic spines. I. Quantitative observations related to dendritic spine and synaptic morphology in cerebral and cerebellar cortices. Anat. Embryol. 1983, 167:289-310
  • Spacek J. Three-dimensional analysis of dendritic spines. II. Spine apparatus and other cytoplasmic components. Anat. Embryol. 1985, 171:235-243
  • Spacek J. Three-dimensional analysis of dendritic spines. III. Glial sheath. Anat. Embryol. 1985, 171:245-252
  • Spacek J. Relationships between synaptic junctions, puncta adhaerentia and the spine apparatus at neocortical axo-spinous synapses. Anat. Embryol. 1985, 173:129-135
  • Spacek J. Ultrastructural pathology of dendritic spines in epitumorous human cerebral cortex. Acta Neuropathol. (Berl.) 1987, 73:77-85
  • Couteaux R, Spacek J. Specializations of subsynaptic cytoplasms. Comparison of axospinous synapses and neuromuscular junctions. In: Cellular and Molecular Basis of Synaptic Transmission. Ed.: Zimmerman H, NATO A50 Series, 25-50, 1988. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg.
  • Spacek J. Dynamics of the Golgi method: a time-lapse study of the early stages of impregnation in single sections. J. Neurocytol. 1989, 18:27-38.
  • Spacek J. Dynamics of Golgi impregnation in neurons. Microscopy Research and Technique 1992, 23:264-274
  • Spacek J. Design CAD-3D: a useful tool for 3-dimensional reconstructions in biology. J. Neurosci. Methods 1994, 53:123-124.
  • Lieberman AR, Spacek J. Filamentous contacts: the ultrastructure and three-dimensional organization of specialized non-synaptic interneuronal appositions in thalamic relay nuclei. Cell Tiss. Res.1997, 288:43-57.