Qualitative enzyme histochemistry and microanalysis reveals changes in ultrastructural distribution of calcium and calcium-activated ATPases after microwave irradiation of the medial habenula

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The localization of calcium and calcium-activated ATPases was investigated electron microscopically in the medial habenula of mice after whole body irradiation with modulated microwaves. In non-irradiated animals calcium-containing precipitates were seen in different subcellular compartments and were often localized on the luminal side of membranes of synaptic vesicles in nerve terminals. At 1 h after 16-Hz modulated microwave irradiation, the number of synaptic vesicles containing calcium precipitates decreased, and reaction products appeared at new locations: in the synaptic clefts and on non-synaptic surfaces of the neuronal plasma membrane. This modified calcium distribution remained unchanged for 24 h following irradiation. Calcium-activated 'ecto'-localized ATPase was detected as a punctuated-linear distribution of the reaction product outlining whole areas of glial and neuronal plasma membrane in the habenula of control animals. This pattern did not change on microwave irradiation. However, a quercetin-sensitive 'endo'-localized Ca2+-ATPase activity appeared in some nerve terminals 24 h after irradiation. Thus, microwave irradiation can influence neuronal calcium homeostasis by inducing Ca2+ redistribution across the plasma membrane and by modifying Ca2+-ATPase activity. However, no direct correlation between these effects could be demonstrated by the present study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1996



  • Ca-ATPase
  • Calcium distribution
  • Medial habenula
  • Microwave irradiation
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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