Acta neuropathologica

Recovery from 2,5-hexanediol intoxication of the retinotectal tract of the rat. An ultrastructural study.

PMID 6891552


Rats were given 2,5-hexanediol, a metabolite of n-hexane, in the drinking water until they developed a marked degree of paresis over about 7 weeks and were then allowed to recover naturally. The time course and the manner of removal of the neurofilamentous masses accumulated within axons caused by the intoxication were followed by electron microscopy over the subsequent 8 weeks. The neurofilamentous masses slowly disappeared completely from the axons of this tract, without there being any degeneration, over 6-7 weeks. They disappeared first from the fibres in the brachium of the superior colliculus, perhaps by transport towards the terminals, and later from the axons within the superior colliculus itself. Particularly in preterminal fibres in the superior colliculus the filamentous accumulations became permeated by a network of smooth endoplasmic reticulum which may have played a part in the removal of the filaments. Accumulations of mitochondria and dense bodies in preterminal regions, presumed to be caused by obstruction to retrograde transport, disappeared pari passu with loss of the filaments. The significance of these events in relation to neurofilament metabolism is discussed.

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