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Acta Neuropathol. 1983;61(1):15-20.

Ultrastructural study on nervous system of fetus with GM1-gangliosidosis type 1.


The nervous system of a 22-year-old fetus with GM1-gangliosidosis type 1 was studied by electron microscopy. The tissues thus examined were the cerebral cortex at the parietal region, the cerebellum, the thoracic spinal cord, the Auerbach's myenteric plexus in the large intestine and the radial nerve fibers. In the cerebral cortex, membrane-bound vacuoles, which occasionally contained stacks of fine fibrils, were observed in the large young neurons in the deeper part of the cortical plate. The neurons in the other part of the cerebral cortex carried no storage materials. In the cerebellum, the membrane-bound vacuoles with stacks of fine fibrils were seen only in the Purkinje cells. The neurons in the spinal cord also contained several zebra-like bodies and the above membrane-bound vacuoles. As for the peripheral nervous system (PNS), neurons in the Auerbach's myenteric plexus carried membranous cytoplasmic bodies and zebra-like bodies. Some of the axons in the radial nerve fibers also contained a lot of pleomorphic electron-dense bodies and a few membranous cytoplasmic ones. These results show that the accumulation of storage materials is started in the large neurons which are produced in the early stage of neurogenesis in the central nervous system (CNS). Additionally, the observed membrane-bound vacuoles are considered to be structures which occur before the membranous cytoplasmic bodies and/or the zebra-like bodies. It is also elucidated that the PNS is affected earlier than the cerebral and cerebellar cortices and thoracic spinal cord.

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