Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 279–289 | Cite as

Histological observations on the evolution of nutritional encephalomalacia in chick cerebellum

  • Paul A. Young
  • Louis L. Tureen
Original Investigation


A study was made of the histological alterations which occur in the development of nutritional encephalomalacia in the chick cerebellum. 3 categories of chicks were discernible according to severity of symptoms.

The earliest changes consisted of focal edema in the folial and medullary white matter. These became progressively more severe and resulted in widespread spongy degeneration. Edema of the Purkinje layer consistently appeared and led to a separation of this layer from the underlying granular layer. Apparent capillary proliferation was noted in all layers and distention of blood vessels finally resulted in hemorrhage and in necrosis of the folia.

Clinical signs occasionally occurred without apparent morphological alterations. The edematous process, when noted, was considered to be intracellular, involving glial elements in the white matter and the Golgi epithelial cells (Bergmann astroglia) in the Purkinje layer. The condition results from altered permeability of the cerebellar blood-brain barrier which is selectively affected by the metabolic changes brought about by vitamin E deficiency.


White Matter Purkinje Cell Granular Layer Encephalomalacia Nitro Furazone 
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Die histologischen Veränderungen in der Entwicklung von nutritiver Encephalomalacie im Kleinhirn des Huhnes wurden untersucht. Nach der Schwere der klinischen Symptome wurden 3 Gruppen von Tieren unterschieden.

Die frühesten Veränderungen bestanden in Ödemherden im Läppchenmark und Marklager, die progredient an Schwere zunehmen und ausgedehnte spongiöse Degeneration bewirken. Ödem der Purkinje-Zellschicht trat regelmäßig auf und führte zu ihrer Ablösung von der darunterliegenden Körnerschicht. Deutliche Capillarproliferation war in allen Schichten erkennbar. Die Gefäßerweiterung führte schließlich zu Blutungen und Nekrosen in den Läppchen.

Klinische Symptome traten gelegentlich ohne manifeste morphologische Läsionen auf. Der ödematöse Prozeß wurde, wenn nachweisbar, als intracellulär aufgefaßt. Er betraf Gliaelemente des Markes und die Golgi Epithelzellen in der Purkinje-Zellschicht (Bergmann Astroglia). Diese Veränderung ist bedingt durch Permeabilitätsveränderungen der cerebellaren Bluthirnschranke, die selektiv betroffen erscheint, wenn der Stoffwechsel durch Vitamin E-Mangel gestört wird.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul A. Young
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Louis L. Tureen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnatomySt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurology & PsychiatrySt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Max and Anna Tureen Neurology Research LaboratorySt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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