Effect of Diphtheritic Demyelination on Axonal Transport in the Sciatic Nerve and Subsequent Muscle Changes in the Chicken

  • Antony D. Kidman
  • William C. de Baker
  • H. Jane Sippe
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 100)


Chicken sciatic nerves undergo demyelination following intraneural injection of diphtheria toxin and subsequent atrophy of some muscular cells. Paresis occurs after one week and lasts approximately three weeks; at the height of the lesion C14-leucine was injected into the ventral horn cells of the spinal cord. The axonal transport of fast flowing labelled proteins was followed down the sciatic nerve axons and flow rates at two different times were measured. Muscle cells were stained for succinic dehydrogenase and ATPase; fibre diameters, total protein, and total radioactivity associated with the nerves were also measured. The results showed that the fast flowing labelled proteins accumulated at the demyelination site while the muscle cells supplied by these nerves showed reduction of fibre diameter and evidence of degeneration. Further studies are in progress on slow moving proteins and muscle cells.


Sciatic Nerve Schwann Cell Axonal Transport Diphtheria Toxin Myosin ATPase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Allt, G., in The Peripheral Nerve (D.N. Landon, ed.), Chapman and Hall (1976) London, pp. 666–739.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Allt, G. and Cavanagh, J.B., Ultrastructural changes in the region of the node of Ranvier in the rat caused by diphtheria toxin, Brain 92 (1969) 459–468.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bradley, W.G. and Jennekens, F.G.I., Axonal degeneration in diphtheritic neuropathy, J. Neurol. Sci. 13 (1971) 445–530.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bray, J.J. and Austin, L., Axoplasmic transport of 1 C proteins at two rates in chicken sciatic nerve, Brain Res. 12 (1969) 230–233.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cavanagh, J.B. and Jacobs, J.M., Some quantitative aspects of diphtheritic neuropathy, Brit. J. Exp. Path. 45 (1964) 309–322.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dolan, L., Chew, L., Morgan, G. and Kidman, A.D., Enzyme studies of skeletal muscle in mice with different types of neural impairment and muscular dystrophy, Exp. Neurol. 47 (1975) 105–117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Harrison, W.A., Unpublished observations.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jeffrey, P.L., James, K.A.C., Kidman, A.D., Richards, A.M. and Austin, L., The flow of mitochondria in chicken sciatic nerve, J. Neurobiol. 3 (1972) 199–208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jeffrey, P.L. and Austin, L., Axoplasmic transport, Prog. in Neurobiol. 2 (1973) 205–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jacobs, J.M., Experimental diphtheritic neuropathy in the rat, Brit. J. Exp. Path. 48 (1967) 204–216.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Livett, B.., Geffin, L.B. and Austin, L., Axoplasmic transport of (14C)-noradrenaline and protein in sympathetic nerves, Nature 217 (1968) 931–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lowry, O.H., Rosebrough, N.J., Farr, A.L. and Randall, R.J., Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent, J. Biol. Chem. 193 (1951) 265–275.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lubinska, L., Axoplasmic streaming in regenerating and in normal nerve fibres, Prog. Brain Res. 13 (1964) 360–377.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    McDonald, I., Pathophysiology in multiple sclerosis, Brain 97 (1974) 179–196.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Padykula, H.A. and Herman, E., Factors affecting the activity of adenosine triphosphatase and other phosphatases as measured by histochemical techniques, J. Histochem. Cytochem. 3 (1955) 161–169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pleasure, D.E., Feldmann, B., and Prockop, D.J., Diphtheria toxin inhibits the synthesis of myelin proteolipid and basic proteins by peripheral nerve in vitro, J. Neurochem. 20 (1973) 81–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Weller, R.O. and Mellick, R.S., Acid phosphatase and lysosome in diphtheritic neuropathy and Wallerian degeneration, Brit. J. Exp. Path. 47 (1966) 425–434.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Weiss, P. and Hiscoe, H.B., Experiments of the mechanism of nerve growth, J. Exp. Zool. 107 (1948) 315–395.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antony D. Kidman
    • 1
  • William C. de Baker
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Jane Sippe
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology Unit, School of Life SciencesThe N.S.W. Institute of TechnologyGore HillAustralia
  2. 2.Dept. of PediatricsPrince of Wales HospitalRandwickAustralia

Personalised recommendations