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Journal of Orthopaedic Science

, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp 434–441 | Cite as

Experimental study of spinal cord compression by epidural tumors using electron probe X-ray microanalysis and confocal laser scanning microscopy

  • Yasuo Aoki
  • Souji Maruo
  • Akira Arakawa
  • Sadao Sasaki
  • Seiki Hori
Original Articles

Abstract

Changes in the nerve fibers of the spinal cord were studied in rat experimental epidural tumor models. Light microscopy showed demyelinization in all with rats paraparesis and paraplegia. Cross-sectional views of nerve fibers stained with 3,3dipentyloxacarbo-cyanine iodide, obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy, showed distorted, shrunken fibers with a low fluorescence intensity. Changes in the electrolyte contents of nerve fibers were studied by electron probe X-ray microanalysis. The K concentration in axons and the myelin sheath was increased in the paraparesis group, but was decreased in the paraplegia group. These findings suggest that, in the paraparesis group, compression of the spinal cord damaged cell membrane channels, which subsequently caused an increase in intracellular K, a decline in the action potential, and low-intensity fluorescence of nerve fibers. On the other hand, in the paraplegia group, destruction of cell membranes caused a decrease in intracellular K until it approached the extracellular level. This reduced both the action potential and the fluorescence intensity. As Ca and Mg concentrations in both axons and the myelin sheath increased in relation to the severity of neurologic damage, it appears that these electrolytes may also play an important role in damage to nerve fibers.

Key words

spinal cord compression experimental epidural tumor electron probe X-ray microanalysis confocal laser scanning microscopy potential-sensitive molecular probe 

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Orthopaedic Association 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuo Aoki
    • 1
  • Souji Maruo
    • 1
  • Akira Arakawa
    • 1
  • Sadao Sasaki
    • 2
  • Seiki Hori
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHyogo College of MedicineHyogoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyHyogo College of MedicineHyogoJapan

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