Morphometric investigations of the mitochondrial damage in ceroid lipopigment accumulation due to vitamin E deficiency

C. Bertoni-Freddari, P. Fattoretti, T. Casoli, G. Di Stefano, M. Solazzi, E. Corvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numeric (Nv) and volume (Vv) densities, as well as the average size (skeleton: Sk) of synaptic mitochondria from adult, normally fed and adult, vitamin E deficient animals (11 months of age) were semiautomatically measured by computer-assisted morphometry in the cerebellar granular layer. Nv, Vv and the average mitochondrial volume (V) were measured on perikaryal Purkinje cell organelles preferentially stained for succinic dehydrogenase (SDH) activity. Adult vitamin E deficient animals showed a significant decrease of Nv, a significant increase of Sk and an unchanged value of Vv. While in adult normally fed animals the mitochondria of increased size (Sk>5 μm) were 5.3%, in the adult vitamin E deficient rats this fraction accounted for 25.5%. In Purkinje cell perikarya, vitamin E deficiency resulted in a significant decrease of Vv, Nv and V, as well as a steeper reduction of the percentage of SDH-positive mitochondria of larger size. Taken together, these findings document that vitamin E deficiency is responsible of mitochondrial morphometric alterations in adult rats. Structurally deteriorated mitochondria are reported to play a role in producing increased amounts of free radicals, which can facilitate the accumulation of ceroid pigment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Accumulation of ceroid pigment
  • Average size of synaptic mitochondria
  • Cerebellar granular layer
  • Computer-assisted morphometry
  • Numeral density (Nv)
  • Purkinje cells
  • Vitamin E deficient rats
  • Volume density (Vv)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Medicine(all)


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