Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract Livers from mature female rats exposed for up to 36 weeks to dietary levels of Aroclor® 1242 (75 or 150 ppm) and/or commercial grade DDT (75 or 150 ppm) were compared to those from animals receiving basal diets. In earlier studies, reproductive effects of the test substances were assessed. Moreover, the markedly abnormal gross appearance of the livers led to examination of the hepatic effects of PCB and DDT in more detail, at both the light microscope (LM) and electron microscope (EM) levels. Light microscopy revealed focal liver cell necrosis in rats fed PCB, DDT, and PCB-DDT combinations. Higher levels of PCB (150 ppm) increased the severity of necrosis. Feeding both DDT and PCB produced similar effects at 75 ppm, and caused atypical centrolobular regeneration, occasionally forming nodules resembling small tumors. The experimentally induced injury was associated with the marked accumulation of iron-containing pigment in hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. Electron micrographs demonstrated the presence of whorl structures (myelin figures) within liver cell cytoplasm, and for the first time clearly illustrated the endocytotic expulsion of these membranous whorls from hepatocytes into the bile canaliculi and sinusoids. Other ultrastructural changes were similar to those previously reported in rat livers injured by several hepatotoxic substances. Mitochondria enclosed by or projecting into large non-lipid vacuoles were present in several experimental groups. The electron micrographs provide the most convincing evidence to date to support the hypothesis that myelin figures may be the vehicle whereby the cell rids itself of specific hepatotoxic substances.
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