Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Sudanophilic lipid accumulation in astrocytes in periventricular leukomalacia in monkeys

  • 20 Accesses

  • 10 Citations


Sudanophilic lipid accumulation is a characteristic feature of periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) of infants. At least two types of lipid-containing cells have been identified, one being the macrophage, the other the “pre-myelin glial cell”. A third type of lipid-containing cell has been seen in two monkeys with spontaneous PVL. Electron microscopically this cell appears to be an astrocyte. This probably represents a reaction of the astrocyte to hypoxia and may be the equivalent of the “hypertrophic” astrocytes found in human infants.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Banker, B. Q., Larroche, J. C.: Periventricular leukomalacia of infancy: A form of neonatal anoxic encephalopathy. Arch. Neurol.7, 386–410 (1962)

  2. Chiffelle, T. L., Putt, F. A.: Propylene and ethylene glycol as solvents for Sudan IV and Sudan Black B. Stain Technol.26, 51–56 (1951)

  3. Gilles, F. H., Murphy, S. F.: Perinatal telencephalic leucoencephalopathy. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry32, 404–413 (1969)

  4. Hager, H.: Elektronenmikroskopische Befunde zur Zytopathologic der Astrocyten in Zentralnervensystem der Säugetiere: Reaktive Veränderungen und gliöse Defektdeckung, Fifth Int. Congr. Electron Microscopy, pp. 55–59. New York: Academic Press 1962

  5. Leech, R. W., Alvord, E. C., Jr.: Glial fatty metamorphosis. Am. J. Pathol.74, 602–610 (1974)

  6. Luft, J. H.: Improvements in epoxy resin embedding methods. J. Biophys. Biochem. Cytol.9, 409–414 (1961)

  7. Maxwell, D. S., Kruger, L.: The fine structure of astrocytes in the cerebral cortex and their response to focal injury produced by heavy ionizing particles. J. Cell Biol.25, 141–157 (1965)

  8. Mickel, H. S., Gilles, F. H.: Changes in glial cells during human telencephalic myelinogenesis. Brain93, 337–346 (1970)

  9. Millonig, G. A.: A modified process for lead staining of thin sections. J. Biophys. Biochem. Cytol.11, 736–739 (1961)

  10. Peters, A., Paley, S. L., Webster, H. de F.: The fine structure of the nervous system. The cells and their processes. Philadelphia: Saunders 1976

  11. Phillips, D. E.: An electron microscopic study of macroglia and microglia in the lateral funiculus of the developing spinal cord of the fetal monkey. Z. Zellforsch.140, 145–167 (1973)

  12. Schwartz, P.: Virchow's congenital encephalomyelitis of the newborn: A basic but neglected problem. Arch. Pediatr.75, 175–201 (1958)

  13. Sumi, S. M.: Periventricular leukoencephalopathy in the monkey. Arch. Neurol.31, 38–44 (1974)

  14. Sumi, S. M., Leech, R. W., Alvord, E. C., Jr., Eng, M., Ueland, K.: Sudanophilic lipids in the unmyelinated primate cerebral white matter after intrauterine hypoxia and acidosis. Res. Publ. Assoc. Res. Nerv. Ment. Dis.51, 176–197 (1973)

  15. Trump, B. F., Smuckler, E. A., Benditt, E. P.: A method for staining epoxy sections for light microscopy. J. Ultrastruct. Res.5, 343–348 (1961)

  16. Vaughan, J. E.: An electron microscopic analysis of gliogenesis in rat optic nerve. Z. Zellforsch.94, 293–324 (1969)

  17. Vaughan, J. E., Peters, A.: Electron microscopy of the early postnatal development of fibrous astrocytes. Am. J. Anat.121, 131–151 (1967)

  18. Virchow, R.: Zur pathologischen Anatomie des Gehirns. I. Congenitale. Encephalitis und Myelitis. Virchows Arch. [Pathol. Anat.]38, 129–138 (1867)

  19. Watson, M. L.: Staining of tissue sections for electron microscopy with heavy metals. J. Biophys. Biochem. Cytol.4, 475–478 (1958)

  20. Wohlwill, F.: Zur Frage der sogenannten Encephalitis congenita (Virchow). I. Teil: Über normale und pathologische Fettkörnchenzellbefunde bei Neugeborenen und Säuglingen. Z. Gesamte Neurol. Psychiatr.68, 384–415 (1921)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to S. Mark Sumi.

Additional information

Supported in part by NIH grant HDO 8633 and the Regional Primate Research Center Grant RR-00166

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sumi, S.M. Sudanophilic lipid accumulation in astrocytes in periventricular leukomalacia in monkeys. Acta Neuropathol 47, 241–243 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00690553

Download citation

Key words

  • Astrocytes
  • Sudanophilic lipids
  • Periventricular leukomalacia