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Calbindin D28k Expression and the Absence of Apoptosis in the Cerebellum of Solanum bonariense L–Intoxicated Bovines

Verdes, J. M., Moraña, J. A., Battes, D., Gutiérrez, F., Guerrero, F., Goicoa, A., Fidalgo, L. E., Barbeito, C. G., Zanuzzi, C. N., Portiansky, E. L., Gimeno, E. J.
cattle, poisonous plants, Solanum bonariense, neurotoxicity, poisoning, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), apoptosis, cerebellum, calbindin, immunohistochemistry
Solanum bonariense intoxication is characterized by cerebellar neuronal vacuolation, degeneration, and necrosis. Cerebellar Purkinje cells seem especially susceptible, but more research is needed to determine the pathogenesis of neuronal necrosis and the mechanism of Purkinje cell susceptibility. Calbindin D28k (CbD28k) is highly expressed in Purkinje cells and has been used as a marker for normal and degenerative Purkinje cells. The goal of this study was to describe S bonariense–induced disease by ascertaining Purkinje cell–specific degenerative changes using CbD28k expression and to correlate this with apoptosis in Purkinje cells, as determined using TUNEL (transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling) and ultrastructural changes. In all cases, an increase in both dose and duration of S bonariense intoxication resulted in a decrease in the number of Purkinje cells. CbD28k immunohistochemistry was an excellent marker for Purkinje cells because immunoreactivity did not change in normal or degenerative tissues. This finding suggests that excessive calcium excitatory stimulation does not induce rapid neuronal degeneration and death. As found in previous studies, TUNEL tests and electron microscopy suggest that Purkinje cell degeneration and death are not occurring via an apoptotic process. These findings suggest that S bonariense poisoning induces progressive Purkinje cell death that is not mediated by excitotoxicity or apoptotic activation.