Neuronal damage produced in rat brains by Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin

J Comp Pathol. 1999 May;120(4):415-20. doi: 10.1053/jcpa.1998.0289.


This paper reports neuronal changes in rat brains subacutely intoxicated with Copyright Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin. Neuronal damage was characterized by either (1) progressive cytoplasmic vacuolation leading to necrosis, or (2) shrunken hyperchromatic cells with nuclear pyknosis. The neuronal injury was also often bilaterally symmetrical, particularly in the brainstem. These findings suggest that, after gaining access to brain tissue by producing an increase in vascular permeability, epsilon toxin later exerts a directly cytotoxic effect on neurons.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / toxicity*
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / drug effects
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Edema / chemically induced
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Vacuoles / pathology


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Clostridium perfringens epsilon-toxin