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July 1965

Ultrastructural Changes in the Edematous Central Nervous System: 1. Triethyltin Edema

Author Affiliations

From the Neurosurgical Research Laboratory, Buffalo General Hospital. Professor of surgery (neurosurgery) (Dr. Bakay) and Assistant Research Professor of neurosurgery (Dr. Lee), State University of New York at Buffalo, Medical School.

Arch Neurol. 1965;13(1):48-57. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00470010052007

WHITE1 was the first to report that the toxic effect of alkyl tin compounds on the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) was primarily paralytic, particularly in the hind limbs. His findings have been confirmed by later investigators2,3 who have also indicated that the most active forms of alkyl tin are its triethyl derivatives. The in vitro studies show that the toxicity of triethyltin compounds is due to their interference with oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria by inhibiting oxygen consumption.4,5 Histological and histochemical investigations were carried out by Magee et al3 who observed interstitial edema in the white matter of the CNS of rats after intraperitoneal and oral administration of triethyltin compounds. The gray matter was not involved. Inflammatory or exudative changes could not be demonstrated; there was no evidence of any alteration in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. These observations have been confirmed by

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