Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 89, Issue 6, pp 519–526 | Cite as

192 IgG-saporin

2. Neuropathology in the rat brain
  • Adam A. Book
  • Ronald G. Wiley
  • John B. Schweitzer
Regular Paper


We have previously shown that an immunotoxin (IT) directed against the p75 component of the nerve growth factor receptor (NGFr) selectively abolished cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain of the rat following intraventricular administration. We now report the neuropathological responses in the rat brain to the IT, with particular emphasis on the cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) and other known p75NGFr-positive brain regions. Animals received intraventricular injections of IT and were allowed to survive for various times. Sections through the entire brain were evaluated using (1) hematoxylin and eosin; (2) glial fibrillary acidic protein immunohistochemistry; and (3)Griffonia simplicifolia lectin histochemistry. The only clearly degenerating cells following IT treatment were located in the CBF or in the Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum. A marked microglial response was demonstrated that was tightly linked both topographically and temporally to the loss of neurons in these areas. The astroglial response was mild in the same regions in which the microglial response was obvious. The other areas of rat brain including the terminal fields of CBF projections showed no consistent reactive cellular responses in IT-treated animals. This study extends and corroborates previous work indicating speciticity of IT, demonstrates active neuronal degeneration by conventional pathological methods for the first time, and illustrates the unexpected and novel finding that the predominant pathological response to the IT-induced loss of neurons is microglial. Both the high degree of specificity and the distinctive glial response distinguish the IT model from other experimental models of CBF neurodegeneration.

Key words

Astrocyte Cholinergic Immunotoxin Microglia Nerve growth factor receptor 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam A. Book
    • 1
  • Ronald G. Wiley
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • John B. Schweitzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyUniversity of Tennessee, Memphis, College of MedicineMemphisUSA
  2. 2.VAMCvanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of PharmacologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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