2,5-Hexanedione alters elemental composition and water content of rat peripheral nerve myelinated axons

Richard M. LoPachin, Ellen J. Lehning, Edward C. Stack, Steven J. Hussein, Albert J. Saubermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Effects of 2,5-hexanedione on elemental concentrations and water content of peripheral nerve myelinated axons were determined using electron probe x- ray microanalysis. Axons (small, medium, and large) were analyzed in unfixed cryosections from rat tibial and proximal sciatic nerve samples. Animals were intoxicated with 2,5-hexanedione by two dosing paradigms: intraperitoneal or oral. Regardless of the route of exposure, internodal axoplasm of small and medium axons from both nerve regions exhibited selective, progressive reductions in dry weight K concentrations and water content. When calculated on a wet weight basis, K levels were comparable to or slightly above control values in tibial nerve, whereas in sciatic nerve, small transient decreases in wet weight K were evident. These changes in K and water correlated with the development of axonal atrophy. The wet and dry weight internodal elemental changes reported here do not suggest a metabolic or axolemmal defect, but rather imply a homeostatic response possibly related to the process of axonal atrophy. Giant axonal swellings were primarily associated with oral 2,5-hexanedione intoxication, and corresponding analyses revealed few changes in element or water content compared with control. The absence of significant alterations in these swellings is consistent with mechanical expansion of the axon probably as a function of accumulating neurofilaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2266-2278
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • 2,5-Hexanedione
  • Chemical neurotoxicant
  • Distal axonopathy
  • Electron probe x-ray microanalysis
  • Myelinated axon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry


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