Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 45–55

Experimental organic mercury poisoning — Pathological changes in peripheral nerves

Authors

  • Taihei Miyakawa
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
  • Motonori Deshimaru
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
  • Shiro Sumiyoshi
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
  • Aoi Teraoka
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
  • Nobuaki Udo
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
  • Eisei Hattori
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
  • Seijun Tatetsu
    • Department of NeuropsychiatryKumamoto University, Medical School
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF00690688

Cite this article as:
Miyakawa, T., Deshimaru, M., Sumiyoshi, S. et al. Acta Neuropathol (1970) 15: 45. doi:10.1007/BF00690688

Summary

Organic mercury firstly affects peripheral nerves all over the nervous system. In peripheral nerves, pathological changes are selectively observed in sensory nerve fibres and are as follows: Swelling and degeneration of Schwann cells, noticeable changes in both myelin sheaths and axons. Proliferating cells such as Schwann cells and macrophages may be acting the role of removal and digestion of degenerated myelin and axon. The pathological changes in myelinated fibres tend to begin at the nodes of Ranvier. With the quantity of organic mercury which was administered, only peripheral nerves were injured. From this point of view, we speculate that, of the neurological signs, only sensory disturbance might be found in some of the patients poisoned by organic mercury.

Key-Words

Organic Mercury Compound Peripheral Nerve Minamata Disease Electron Microscopy

Zusammenfassung

Organische Quecksilberverbindungen schädigen im Nervensystem zunächst die peripheren Nerven. Dabei werden die sensiblen Fasern bevorzugt betroffen: es kommt zur Proliferation und Degeneration der Schwannschen Zellen sowie zu starken Veränderungen an Markscheiden und Axonen. Vermehrte Schwannsche Zellen und Makrophagen bewirken die Beseitigung und Verdauung degenerierter Markscheiden und Axone. Die Veränderungen an markhaltigen Nervenfasern beginnen hauptsächlich am Ranvierschen Schnürring. Organisches Quecksilber schädigt in einer bestimmten Dosierung ausschließlich die peripheren Nerven. Diese Befunde lassen vermuten, daß bei Patienten mit organischen Quecksilbervergiftungen mitunter nur Symptome von Schäden an sensiblen Nerven auftreten können.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1970