Author(s): Bizzi A, Crane RC, AutilioGambetti L, Gambetti P
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Abstract Administration of aluminum (Al) produces accumulation of neurofilaments (NF), called neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), in neuronal cell bodies and proximal axonal segments. This study was undertaken to investigate whether these changes are associated with impairment of the slow axonal transport. Local administration of AlCl3 induced the formation of NFT in 90 to 100\% of the rabbit hypoglossal neurons. [35S]Methionine was then administered to the hypoglossal nerve nuclei. The hypoglossal nerves were processed 18 or 28 days later for one- and two-dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography. Labeled NF polypeptides and a polypeptide of 57 kilodaltons (Kd) were not detectable beyond the proximal 9-mm segment of the hypoglossal nerve in Al-treated rabbits 18 days after labeling, whereas they were present up to 27 mm from the medulla in controls. Tubulin and polypeptides migrating with slow component b were not significantly affected. In rabbits sacrificed 28 days after labeling, accumulation of NF subunits within the proximal 9 mm of hypoglossal nerve was less dramatic, and labeled NF were present up to 30 mm from the medulla whereas they were detectable up to 45 mm in controls. Morphological studies demonstrated the presence of enlarged axons filled with NF in the proximal 9 mm of the hypoglossal nerve. In nerve segments immediately distal, axons were markedly reduced in size and contained no NF but an apparently normal number of microtubules and other organelles. Transport of NF and of a 57-Kd polypeptide is markedly but reversibly slowed down or blocked within the proximal 9-mm segments of the hypoglossal nerve following Al administration to the hypoglossal nucleus. It is suggested that NF transport is maintained distally, resulting in lack of NF in axonal segments immediately distal to the block. Local Al intoxication provides a novel model of impairment of NF transport.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology