Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Histochemie saurer Mucopolysaccharide während der Genese Methylnitrosoharnstoff-induzierter Hirntumoren der Ratte

  • A. Engelhardt
  • P. Bannasch
Original Investigations

Histochemistry of acid mucopolysaccharides during the genesis of brain tumors induced in the rat by methyl-nitrosourea


Brain tumors are regularly induced in rats by chronic intravenous application of methylnitrosourea (5 mg/kg/week). In 66 experimental animals we looked for early histologic and histochemical changes during the genesis of such brain tumors. After a lag period of 225–300 days a total of 60 tumors of the central nervous system developed: 8 gliomas, 33 gliomatous microtumors, 8 sarcomas, 5 sarcomatous microtumors, 6 neurinomas. In addition 15 areas with characteristic histochemical changes, but without cell proliferation were found. In these areas acid mucopolysaccharides could be demonstrated by the iron binding reaction or by alcian blue (alcianophilic areas without cell proliferation). The same histochemical changes were seen in all gliomatous microtumors (alcianophilic areas with cell proliferation) and in fully developed gliomas. The positive staining reaction for acid mucopolysaccharides may be diffuse or weblike. In central regions of larger gliomas alcianophilia tends to disappear. Alcianophilic areas with and without cell proliferation and fully developed gliomas show a very similar localization: they involve preferentially the white matter and regions near the lateral ventricles. We conclude from these observations that gliomas originate from alcianophilic areas rich in acid mucopolysaccharides. The histochemical findings point to an early dysregulation of carbohydrate metabolism during the neoplastic transformation of glial cells. In contrast to gliomas, sarcomas never show an accumulation of acid mucopolysaccharides. This histochemical difference may help to distinguish between gliomas and sarcomas.

Key words

Glioma Sarcoma Acid mucopolysaccharides 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Engelhardt
    • 1
  • P. Bannasch
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung für CytopathologieInstitut für Experimentelle Pathologie am Deutschen KrebsforschungszentrumHeidelbergBundesrepublik Deutschland

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