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Fine structure of sensory ganglia during experimental scurvy

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The cells of the dorsal root ganglia of scorbutic guinea pigs were characterized by a number of changes. In the animals that were sacrificed at 22–27 days following the ascorbic acid deficient diet, the sensory ganglion cells showed a complete breakdown of Nissl substance, a loss of neurofilaments and neurotubules, and swollen mitochondria. There was an increase in agranular and coated vesicles, alteration in dense bodies, some cytoplasmic sequestration. The periphery of some cells appeared profusely vacuolar. Cellular debris surrounding these cells was probably due to degenerating satellite cells. Severe cellular damage was noted in existing satellite cells. No collagen fibrils were seen in the endoneural spaces.

It is suggested that the cellular changes indicate a breakdown in the protein synthesizing mechanism of the cell.

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Supported in part by Grant 8217 from the Veterans Administration and United States Public Health Service Research Grant MH-19168.

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Sulkin, D.F., Sulkin, N.M. & Nushan, H. Fine structure of sensory ganglia during experimental scurvy. Acta Neuropathol 23, 141–151 (1973).

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Key words

  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency
  • Spinal Ganglion Cells
  • Satellite Cells
  • Collagen
  • Nissl Substance
  • Neurofilaments
  • Neurotubules
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Mitochondria
  • Sensory Ganglia