Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 149–160 | Cite as

Ultrastructural changes in chick cerebellum induced by vitamin E deficiency

  • P. A. Young
  • J. J. Taylor
  • W. -H. A. Yu
  • M. C. Yu
  • L. L. Tureen
Original Investigations


Focal lesions were induced in the cerebellum by feeding chickens a diet high in unsaturated fats and deficient in vitamin E. Ultrastructurally, the lesions consisted of central and peripheral zones. The central zone was characterized in the cortex and white matter by enlargement of the intercellular space, swelling of astrocytes, vacuolization of oligodendrocytes, ballooning of nerve fibers, degenerative changes in small blood vessels, and extravasation of plasma and blood cells. The peripheral zone was characterized by enlargement of the intercellular space in the white matter, swelling of astrocytes in the cortex, and the accumulation of dark bodies in the endothelium of small blood vessels. The results suggest that this nutritional encephalopathy is caused by alterations in the permeability of the vascular bed due to the dietary stress of unsaturated fatty acids in the absence of vitamin E.

Key words

Nutritional Encephalopathy Brain Edema Vitamin E Deficiency Electron Microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. Young
    • 1
  • J. J. Taylor
    • 1
  • W. -H. A. Yu
    • 1
  • M. C. Yu
    • 1
  • L. L. Tureen
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Anatomy and Neurology and PsychiatrySaint Louis University School of MedicineSaint LouisUSA

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