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Med Mol Morphol. 2006 Jun;39(2):97-105.

Quantitative elemental analysis on aluminum accumulation by HVTEM-EDX in liver tissues of mice orally administered with aluminum chloride.

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Department of Instrumental Analysis, Research Center for Human Environmental Sciences, Shinshu University, and General Research Laboratory, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, 390-8621, Japan.


Quantitative elemental analysis on Al was carried out by high-accelerating voltage transmission electron microscopy (HVTEM) equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) using an accelerating voltage at 300 kV with high permeability in 1-mum-thick samples obtained from mice administered with aluminum chloride solution for 3, 9, and 17 weeks. By light microscopic observation, no morphological changes were observed in the hepatocytes and macrophages in the liver tissues of mice that were administered with excess Al as compared with the normal control mice. In contrast, by electron microscopic observation, ultrastructural changes were observed in the lysosomes in the hepatocytes as well as the pinocytotic vesicles in the macrophages in the experimental animals. Therefore, the concentrations of Al detected in lysosomes in hepatocytes and pinocytotic vesicles in macrophages of livers of mice administered with Al were measured in relationship to those administration periods. Moreover, transitional changes of hepatocyte lysosome ratios by image analysis and the macrophage counts in the unit area increased in liver tissues of mice administered with Al as compared with normal control mice. From the results, it was demonstrated that hepatocyte lysosome ratio and macrophage count increased in liver tissues of treated mice during those short-term excessive Al administration periods. It was also clarified that the concentrations of Al in both hepatocytes and macrophages increased as observed by HVTEM-EDX. In conclusion, Al accumulated in hepatocytes and macrophages at 3 and 9 weeks administration, while the ultrastructural changes remained in the hepatocytes and macrophages. In contrast, Al concentration did not increase in the liver at 17 weeks administration.

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