Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 86, Issue 1, pp 42–48 | Cite as

Giant axonopathy in streptozotocin diabetes of rats

  • I. Jirmanová
Regular Papers


The ultrastructure of peripheral sensory nerves was investigated in adult Wistar rats suffering from experimental diabetes mellitus 6 and 10 weeks after the injection of streptozotocin. Giant axons were seen in sections from the nerves of streptozotocintreated rats; some contained masses of neurofilaments, others were predominantly filled with ill-defined vesicles. At the swollen axons, the myelin sheath was thinned or absent. In other regions, large intramyelinic vacuoles were observed. A number of nerve fibers broke down completely and underwent Wallerian degeneration. This was accompanied by Schwann cell proliferation and formation of Büngner bands. Concomitantly with axonal degeneration, nerve regeneration started from intact internodes. The pathomorphology of streptozotocin diabetic neuropathy closely resembles that of some toxic distal axonopathies. This points to a common metabolic basis of giant axonopathies of different etiology.

Key words

Streptozotocin diabetes Electron microscopy Giant axonopathy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Jirmanová
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhysiologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic

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