Quantitative and qualitative alterations of neuronal and glial intermediate filaments in rat nervous system after exposure to 2,5-hexanedione

J Neurochem. 1991 Oct;57(4):1437-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1991.tb08311.x.


The precise mechanism for the neurotoxicity of 2,5-hexanedione is not known, but cross-linking of neurofilament proteins has been suggested as one possibility. In this study the effects of long-term exposure to 2,5-hexanedione were studied in the rat nervous system with special reference to regional changes in the quantities of neuronal and glial intermediate filaments. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays the concentrations of 68- and 200-kDa neurofilament polypeptides were shown to be reduced in all brain regions studied. Similar results were obtained in the sciatic nerve. The concentration of glial fibrillary acidic protein was decreased in the cerebellar vermis and the dorsal cerebral cortex, whereas it was increased in the spinal cord, a result suggesting a regional variation in glial sensitivity. The intermediate filaments of the exposed animals were also immunoblotted using polyclonal antisera against the various neurofilament polypeptides and glial fibrillary acidic protein. In all tissues studied, several aggregates with molecular weights higher than those of the monomeric polypeptides were demonstrated. Contrary to clinical observations, these data indicate pronounced effects in both CNS and PNS and call for further studies on CNS effects in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / ultrastructure*
  • Hexanones / pharmacology*
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure*
  • Male
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Hexanones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • 2,5-hexanedione