Experimental lead neuropathy: Inorganic lead inhibits proliferation but not differentiation of Schwann cells

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Schwann cells were prepared from the sciatic nerves of newborn rats and cultured in a monolayer. Addition of lead acetate at concentrations between 0.4 and 10.0 μg/ml, levels comparable to those occurring in neural tissues and physiological fluids of lead-intoxicated rats, diminished both the baseline rate of proliferation of the Schwann cells and their response to the mitogens, axolemmal fragments, glial growth factor, and the adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) analogues 8-bromo-cAMP and dibutyryl-cAMP. This demonstrates a direct toxic effect of inorganic lead on Schwann cells. Lead acetate in this concentration range did not, however, inhibit the cAMP analogue-induced appearance of the 'myelin marker' lipid galactocerebroside on the surfaces of the cultured Schwann cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-468
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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