Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 145–157 | Cite as

Glial reactions induced by treatment with colchicine of the central nervous system of rabbits

  • Hans-Arne Hansson
Original Investigations


Rabbits treated with a single intracisternal injection of 100 μg colchicine dissolved in 50 μl water, got signs of neurological disturbances within a day and became quadriparetic in about two days. The glial cells in the brain, the brain stem and spinal cord were examined. Special emphasis was paid to those in the hypoglossal and dorsal vagal nuclei.

Many of the astrocytes became hypertrophic after injection of colchicine and got an increased number of filaments and cell organelles, including mitochondria and dense bodies. The oligodendrocytes showed more or less marked changes, including lipid droplets and dense bodies. Several glial cells, rarely noticed in the controls, showed marked signs of reactive changes and did not fulfil the criteria for either astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. The results obtained are discussed in relation to those obtained after other types of treatment of nervous tissue. It is concluded that the glial changes are partly due to effects induced by colchicine, which inhibits the intracellular transport, but not the formation of cell constituents. Emphasis had to be paid to the fact that drug-induced changes in the glial cells may severely alter the metabolism and function of adjacent neurons.

Key words

Colchicine Astroglia Oligodendroglia Drug-Induced Changes Glial Cells Electron Microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Arne Hansson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistologyUniversity of GöteborgGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Neuropathological Laboratory, Department of Pathology IUniversity of GöteborgGöteborgSweden

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