β,β′-Iminodipropionitrile (IDPN) administration prevented normal slow axonal transport of [35S]methionine- or [ 3H]leucine-labeled proteins in rat sciatic motor axons. Ultrastructural and electrophoretic studies showed that the neurofilament triplet proteins in particular were retained within the initial 5 millimeters of the axons, resulting in neurofilament-filled axonal swellings. Fast anterograde and retrograde axonal transport were not affected. The IDPN thus selectively impaired slow axonal transport. The neurofibrillary pathology in this model is the result of the defective slow transport of neurofilaments.
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