Lead intoxication in rats reliably produces segmental demyelination. Following a single intravenous injection of radioactive lead, localization of tracer was observed sequentially by quantitative electron microscopical autoradiog‐raphy. The animals injected had been on a lead‐containing diet for 70 days; as a result, the blood‐nerve barrier was broken down and demyelination was proceeding. Six hours after a single dose, the lead was localized to the endoneurial space of the peroneal nerve, and 72 hours later, to the myelin membrane. Lead may exert a direct effect on the membrane and alter its stability both by altering the lipid content of the membrane and by directly interfering with the lamellar structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology