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Histochemical localization of aluminum in the rabbit CNS

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Aluminum was observed in the nucleolus, interchromatin granules, rough endoplasmic reticulum, free ribosomes, euchromatin, and the heterochromatin of the neuron. The association of aluminum with the first four r-RNA-containing cellular components and with the last two DNA-containing chromatins suggests the association of aluminum with the nucleic acids. The aluminum may interfere with the normal mechanism of the protein synthesis of r-RNA and of the transcription or gene modulation of DNA. Aluminum was also observed in the astrocytic process and in the nuclei of endothelial cells, pericytes, and the muscle cells of the blood vessels. The detection of aluminum in the pyrimidal cells of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus and in the spinal cord neurons, was observed 1 h after i. v. injection, indicating a rapid entry of aluminum from the injection site through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to the neurons. Using Morin stain, pyramidal neurons of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, motoneurons of spinal cord, ganglion cells, and bipolar cells of retina and Purkinje cells of cerebellum, exhibited yellow fluoroscence, with peak intensitiy at 560 nm. Tangles were observed in these six types of neurons. The granule cells of hippocampus and cerebellum and the photoreceptors of the retina exhibited green fluorescence with the peak intensity at 490–500 nm. Tangles were not observed in these three types of neurons.

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Correspondence to G. Y. Wen.

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Wen, G.Y., Wisniewski, H.M. Histochemical localization of aluminum in the rabbit CNS. Acta Neuropathol 68, 175–184 (1985).

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Key words

  • Aluminum localization
  • Nucleolus
  • Ribosomal RNA
  • DNA
  • Astrocytic process