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Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies

The Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies offers unique opportunities for the study of specific problems of neurotoxicity and neuropathology associated with exposure to drugs and chemical compounds. These issues are investigated by a multidisciplinary research team made up of scientists with expertise in neurotoxicology, neurochemistry, clinical neurology, and neuropathology.

A. Technical Expertise

Pathology and Neuropathology

  • LKB IV Ultramicrotome and Modular Tables
  • Leitz Dialux Microscope with Wild MP32 Photographic Attachment
  • Three other Research Microscopes
  • Automated Morphometry Unit with Oncor Image Software
  • Exhaust Hood
  • Refrigerator
  • Peripheral Nerve Fiber Teasing Station
  • Knife Maker*
  • JEOL Transmission Electron Microscope*
  • Darkroom*
  • Epoxy Resin Embedding Tissue Embedding Station
  • Fully equipped Histology Laboratory (a GLP Unit in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital) with Tissue Processors, Microtomes, Exhaust Hoods, and Embedding Stations
  • A Perfusion Room containing a Dissection Table with a Downdraft Exhaust System and three Solid State Perfusion Pumps
  • Facility for toxicant preparation
  • Biochemistry and tissue culture facility

       *Located in Ultrastructural Microscopy Laboratory

Clinical Neurology, Behavioral Studies
A room in the University’s Research Animal Facility, within the animal holding area, is dedicated to these activities. It is equipped for performance of the Functional Observational Battery (FOB) and other clinical tests and contains specialized apparatuses such as:

  • a Rotorod
  • Strain Gauges modified for determination of fore- and hind-limb grip strength
  • Automated Motor Activity Testing System (San Diego Instruments) interfaced with a PC Control Unit

B. Technical Expertise


  • Single and multi-dose rodent studies
  • Hen organophosphorus delayed neuropathy testing
  • Metabolic/biochemical assays
  • Data analysis


  • Perfusion fixation/epoxy or paraffin embedding
  • Light and electron microscopic studies
  • Morphometric analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry

Clinical Neurology, Behavior

  • Rodent functional observational battery
  • Motor activity
  • Passive avoidance testing

In vitro Toxicology

  • Viability testing
  • Spectrofluorometry for cellular ionic changes, pH, mitochondrial function, and esterase activities

C. Using the Laboratory for Neurotoxicity Studies

Persons wishing to use the Neurotoxicity Studies Laboratory for research should contact Dr. Bernard Jortner, Laboratory Coordinator, or Sandy Hancock, the Laboratory Supervisor, at 1-4817.

D. Projects Currently in Progress

  • Neurotoxic interactions of two organophosphates and stress in rats
  • Neurotoxic effects of depleted uranium

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