Lead uptake in motor axons

Roger Pamphlett, Alexandra Bayliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In an attempt to determine wheather lead (Pb) in striated muscle can be taken up by motor axon, mice were injected intramuscularly with a 5% nitrate solution, and the passage of Pb through the tissues was traced with electron mocroscopy. Thirty minutes after injection in the tibialis anterior muscle, Pb was seen at the sarcolemma and axolemma of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and in the adjacent sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Pb was also present in the axoplasm and mitochondria of terminal and preterminal motor axons. The presence of Pb was confirmed with x‐ray elemental microanalysis. The results indicate that there is a pathway for intramuscular Pb to enter terminal motor axons. This supports the hypothesis that some forms of motor neuron disease (MND) may be due to axonal uptake and retrograde transport of Pb.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1992


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