Light microscopic and ultrastructural changes of substantia nigra were studied in paralyzed ventilated rats with status epilepticus induced by mercaptopropionic acid. Some rats were killed at the end of seizure activity and others were examined in varying intervals after the arrest of seizure. The earliest changes were reduction in the size of the neuronal nuclei and chromatin clumping followed by simultaneous distention of axons and dendrites. There was also enlargement of the neuronal perikarya associated with microvacuolation. This neuronal microvacuolation corresponded ultrastructurally to swollen mitochondria with disrupted cristae. These changes were followed by progressive neuronal shrinkage and astrocytic swelling. The swollen astrocytic processes together with swollen neurites gave a spongy appearance to the involved area. The lesion thereafter progressively enlarged and evolved into an area of frank necrosis containing abundant macrophages. This lesion is morphologically different from that produced in cortex and hippocampus by seizure activity or due to the direct effect of excitotoxins. The significance of substantia nigra pars reticularis changes and their pathogenesis are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience