Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract This investigation sought to determine whether splenic lymphocytes obtained from Balb/C mice exposed to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) showed any ultrastructural changes which could account for the immunodysfunction attributable to aflatoxins. Lymphocytes obtained from Balb/C mice administered aflatoxin B1 in olive oil daily for three weeks were studied using both transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The lymphocytes demonstrated ultrastructural changes primarily in the mitochondria where marked internal dissociation of the cristae was revealed by transmission electron microscopy. All other cellular organelles were unaffected. No significant alterations in external structure were observed under scanning electron microscopy. The findings of this study indicate that AFB1 administration does not affect the surface topography of lymphocytes, but AFB1, by causing extensive mitochondrial damage, may affect the way in which these cells function. This could be a possible explanation for the immunodysfunction associated with AFB1.
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