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Histol Histopathol. 1991 Jan;6(1):43-53.

Ultrastructural changes in the gracile nucleus of the spontaneously diabetic BB rat.

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1
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

Abstract

The present study describes the structural changes in the gracile nucleus of the spontaneously diabetic BB rat. At 3-7 days post-diabetes, axons, axon terminals and dendrites showed electron-dense degeneration. Degenerating axons were characterized by swollen mitochondria, vacuolation, accumulation of glycogen granules, tubulovesicular elements, neurofilaments and dense lamellar bodies. Degenerating axon terminals consisted of an electron-dense cytoplasm containing swollen mitochondria, vacuoles and clustering of synaptic vesicles. These axon terminals made synaptic contacts with cell somata, dendrites and other axon terminals. Degenerating dendrites were postsynaptic to normal as well as degenerating axon terminals. At 1-3 months post-diabetes, degenerating electron-dense axons, axon terminals and dendrites were widely scattered in the neuropil. Macrophages containing degenerating electron-dense debris were also present. At 6 months post-diabetes, the freshly degenerating neuronal elements encountered were similar to those observed at 3-7 days. However, there were more degenerating profiles at 6 months post-diabetes compared to the earlier time intervals. Terminally degenerating axons were vacuolated and their axoplasm appeared amorphous. It is concluded that degenerative changes occur in the gracile nucleus of the spontaneously diabetic BB rat.

PMID:
1806055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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