Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 111–119 | Cite as

Ultrastructure of 6-aminonicotinamide (6-AN) —Induced lesions in the central nervous system of rats

1. Chromatolysis and other lesions in the cervical cord
  • N. Horita
  • S. Oyanagi
  • T. Ishii
  • Y. Izumiyama
Original Works


Ultrastructure of neuronal chromatolysis and other lesions in the gray matter of the cervical cord due to 6-aminonicotinamide (6-AN) administration, an antinicotinamide, to rats, were followed up during a 35-days period. Neuronal chromatolysis which was prominent in the anterior horn cells in the acute stage, was completely recovered from via the temprary hyperchromasia of their cytoplasm. Their axons, however, which form the anterior nerve roots, did not show any particular changes throughout the whole period of the experiment. This evidence suggests that neuronal chromatolysis induced by 6-AN might not be the result of axonal damage, but was due to the direct action of 6-AN on the soma of the anterior horn cells.

In addition, necrosis of the internuncial cells, various reactions of glial and mesenchymal elements and the spongy state of the neuropil in the laminae VI and VII of Rexed of the cervical gray matter were observed in the acute stage. They were later repaired by glia. These lesions are usually absent in the central nervous system of human cases with pellagra.

It is considered that the findings with 6-AN simulate the central nervous lesions of pellagra in human, but some minor differences in pathology such as presence of severer lesions in glia and other elements in the experimental rats would probably be caused by additional factors such as drastic mode of action, probable difference in catabolism of nicotinamide and 6-AN, and so forth.

Key words

Pellagra 6-Aminonicotinamide Cervical gray matter Neuronal chromatolysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Horita
    • 1
  • S. Oyanagi
    • 1
  • T. Ishii
    • 1
  • Y. Izumiyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Ultrastructure and HistochemistryPsychiatric Research Institute of TokyoTokyoJapan

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