Morphological changes in cultured astrocytes exposed to l-glutamate (Glu) were examined light and electron microscopically. The treatment with 0.1 mM Glu for 60 min caused marked swelling of the cells, which was characterized by reduction in staining of cytoplasm with Toluidine blue, disappearance of the cytoplasmic granular ground substances, swollen mitochondrion and nucleus, and dispersed chromatin. The above changes were prevented by the removal of Na+, Ca2+ or Cl- from the incubation medium for Glu treatment. However, the Glu treatment in a Cl--free medium caused conspicuous aggregation of 10 nm filaments.
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