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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0533
    Keywords: Key words Zidovudine ; Myopathy ; Nucleus ; Mitochondria ; AIDS
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Long-term zidovudine (also termed azidothymidine, AZT) treatment of AIDS patients may cause severe myopathy characterized by conspicuous mitochondrial and nuclear changes. The mitochondrial changes are attributed to an inhibitory effect of AZT on the mitochondrial γ-polymerase in a variety of cells. Inhibition of the nuclear α-polymerase is another well-known side effect of AZT, whereas the (nuclear) β-polymerase appears to be rather insensitive. The nuclear changes seen in AIDS patients are usually considered secondary to the human immunodeficiency virus infection. To eliminate the influence of the virus on the nuclei, we studied the effect of AZT on non-infected, organotypic co-cultures of spinal ganglia, spinal cord, and skeletal muscle from fetal rats. We noted significant changes not only in the mitochondria but also in the nuclei of spinal ganglia, spinal cord, and muscle cells, which depended more on the duration of AZT application (1, 3, 5, and 8 days) than on the concentration (0.1, 1, 10, 100 and 1000 μM). The alterations of the mitochondria consisted mainly of swelling, loss of cristae and, finally, disappearance. The nuclei showed nucleolar segregation, marginal condensation of heterochromatin, formation of interchromatin and perichromatin granules, nuclear protrusions and pseudoinclusions and, finally, disintegration. The changes were not as pleomorphic as those seen in biopsy specimens from AIDS patients who had received long-term treatment with AZT. However, this difference can easily be attributed to the short duration of drug application in tissue culture compared to the long-term medication in patients.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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