Retarded myelination in the lumbar spinal cord of piglets born with spread-leg syndrome

Ferenc Szalay, Attila Zsarnovszky, Sándor Fekete, István Hullár, Veronika Jancsik, F. Hajós

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Piglets born with spread-leg syndrome, a congenital weakness of the hindlimb adductors, were investigated to determine the site of lesion leading to limb impairment. Histological and immunohistochemical studies of the motor neuron unit showed no alterations but quantitative analysis revealed a reduction of axonal diameter and myelin sheath-thickness of the fibres innervating the adductors of the affected limbs. In the lumbar spinal cord a lack of myelination was observed in the tracts descending to the lower motor neurons. Recovery from the syndrome was accompanied by a catching-up of myelination with that of the controls. The spread-leg syndrome is due to a nutritional deficiency in the sow; thus it is assumed that the deficient maternal substances, mainly choline and methionine, are essential for the normal myelin production by spinal white matter oligodendrocytes of the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2001



  • Myelination
  • Nutrition
  • Pig
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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