Slender projections, similar to microvilli, are the main specialization of the perikaryal surface of sensory ganglion neurons. The extent of these projections correlates closely with the volume of the corresponding nerve cell body. It is likely that the role of perikaryal projections of sensory ganglion neurons, which lack dendrites, is to maintain the surface-to-volume ratio of the nerve cell body above some critical level for adequate metabolic exchange. Satellite cells probably have the ability to promote, or provide a permissive environment for, the outgrowth of these projections. It is not yet known whether the effect of satellite cells is mediated by molecules associated with their plasma membrane or by diffusible factors. Furthermore, receptor molecules for numerous chemical agonists are located on the nerve cell body surface, but it is not known whether certain molecules are located exclusively on perikaryal projections or are also present on the smooth surface between these projections. Further study of the nerve cell body surface and of the influence that satellite cells exert on it will improve our understanding of the interactions between sensory ganglion neurons and satellite neuroglial cells.